Parking is at a premium in downtown Orlando and the Creative Village got the green light Tuesday for fewer parking spaces in a mobility plan that aims to reduce the number of cars to the urban infill development.

The City of Orlando‘s Creative Village Development Review Committee approved 20 percent fewer parking spaces than city code requires for the 68-acre project that will be built on the old Amway Arena site in Parramore. Yet, the committee, which was created to streamline development of the project, delayed approving a request by the developer of the 256-unit Amelia Court Apartments for a 36 percent parking reduction.

“This parking thing is innovative but also the right thing to do,” said Craig Ustler, who leads the Creative Village development team. “We’ve got to stop building parking garages to warehouse automobiles.”

The Creative Village includes a mix of affordable housing, restaurants, retail shops and UCF Downtown, which will be serve 7,700 students from both the University of Central Florida and Valencia College

The development’s proximity to SunRail and the Central LYNX bus station would encourage students to use mass transit. A free buss will run from UCF’s main location in East Orange County to the new downtown campus. The goal is to encourage walking and bicycling, while making cars a last resort.

Initial plans call for 2,500 parking spaces by late summer of 2019, with 1,200 spaces in the Centroplex, 600 in a UCF parking garage, 600 spaces in student housing and several hundred spaces on the street. 

The committee’s recommendations will be sent to the Orlando City Council for approval next month.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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