New development and adaptive reuse of existing buildings centered at the intersection of Princeton Street and Orange Blossom Trail will soon transform the west side of College Park.

In exclusive press briefing materials provided to the College Park Community Paperdetails confirm long-rumored talk among locals that an exciting new development by Dr. Phillips Inc. is in the works. Plans include “a mix of residential and retail offerings that may include apartments, townhomes, commercial office space, a grocer, coffee shop, brewery, etc.” as well as a “bold plan for urban trails and a new 100-acre public park.” Transportation and infrastructure improvements are also in the plan.

A project of Dr. Phillips Inc. together with the City of Orlando, “The Packing District” is expected to generate an estimated $41 million in economic impact to the city’s general operating budget and create 800 permanent jobs. The project will start construction in 2018 and will mature over the next 10 to 15 years.

Covering a massive 202 acres, The Packing District project will re-purpose historic buildings, “preserving and recapturing a defining part of our community’s history while providing a vibrant base of living and commerce.” One historic building, the former Southern Box Company on OBT (most recently the blue building housing the Habitat for Humanity center) could be revitalized into a lively center for retail and eateries.

Similar large-scale redevelopment projects of this type serve as a pattern for the new district. These include Atlanta’s Ponce City Market and the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis.

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