Watching Orlando Unravel 3

We now move from the south-west side of Orlando to the east near the University of Central Florida. There are a lot of defense contractors in the area as well as the university.

The following group are located on University Blvd, the main drag leading to UCF.

Bennigan's Grill & Tavern UCF
One of the many corporate-owned Bennigan's stores (now empty) from the collapse of the company in June 2008.

Chicken Lickin's UCF
This used to be a Kentucky Fried Chicken until September 2008. Then it shut down and remained empty until late December. It's now 'evolved' into a Chicken Lickin's franchise store.

Krispy Kreme UCF 3
Shut down 2008. What is surprising about this (and others near UCF) is that they went out of business at all. This area also includes Research Park, and companies such as SAIC, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, PEO-STRI... In other words lots of students and lots of highly-paid engineers.

Fazoli's UCF
A dead Fazoli's. According to the sign on the window the store moved to a new site in Oviedo. This store closed sometime around mid-2008.

Chevron UCF
I have no idea when this store finally shut down, except it was some time in 2008. And then they came in and knocked everything down, leaving this lone sign to mark its passing. This is on the corner of University and North Alafaya, right across from the main entrance to the University of Central Florida (UCF).

This next group is back on my side of town near Millenia.

Millenia Plaza 1
An unknown store (i.e. I don't know what was there), now sitting empty. This is in the general area of the Mall of Millenia.

Linens 'n Things MP 1
A rather large former Linens 'n Things store standing empty in the same block as Millenia Plaza 1 and 2. Linens 'n Things declared bankruptcy in May 2008. This store was one of the first to be shut down around the country.

Another Dead Quiznos
Another dead Quiznos across the street from The Marketplace, on the east corner of Dr. Phillips Blvd and West Sandlake Road. I used to stop off here on the weekends when I was out running errands.

Realty Executives No More
Another dead realty office, another victim of the housing bubble bursting.

Whole Foods 1
They built a relatively small shopping center on the south-east corner of the intersection of Turkey Lake and West Sand Lake. The anchor store is a Whole Foods that opened June of 2008. These three store fronts are part that shopping center, at one of the entrances off of Turkey Lake. They remain unfinished and unfilled.

Whole Foods 2
At the same entrance but on the other side. This is actually the back side of this building. Walk around to the front and the only business in this block is a small sushi restaurant on one corner.

(Nearly) Empty Monument
The largest building I've found to date that is for the most part unoccupied. Built over a heavily wooded lot, it was finished mid-2008. Walk around the base of the building and nearly every window has a sign declaring space to rent. Located at the north-east corner of the intersection of Turkey Lake and Conroy Windermere.

Unaffordable Conspicuous Consumption
This lot of very expensive recreational vehicles used to be filled with plain old automobiles. I have no idea when it switched, but I believe it was within the last 12 months. I was completely blown away by the large number of very expensive RVs that now fill the lot. The sign on the front of the lot says "USED RV LIQUIDATORS - Retail RVs at Wholesale Prices."

If you say so.

If you have to ask how much...
This little number, originally priced at $537,900, has been marked down to the low, low price of $399,099! Take it home with you today! Or better yet, buy a real house with that much money.

And now, back to the east side of Orlando...

Big Empty Office Park
A Big Empty Office Park located right next to Lockheed Martin on Lake Underhill, between a high school and a Harley Davidson dealership. There appears to be just one 'major' tenant, an Elegance Salon and Spa, and one very little business tucked into a much smaller back corner office.

Another Dead Donatos
Another dead Donatos by the side of the road. This one is just a block down the street from the Big Empty Office Park. It's a matching bookend to the dead Donatos on my side of town.

Five Guys, formerly Johnny Rockets
Located at Waterford Lakes Town Center on North Alafaya Trail and the 408. This used to be a Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets is an "international" franchising chain of hamburger joints with a 50's styling that just sorta died. I'm not sure the economy did them in or if it was their bland food. In any event Five Guys, another up and coming hamburger chain selling heart-bursting cholesterol burgers moved in recently. If you go to, you'll see an example eatery and note that all Five Guys did was slap their signage on the JR building.

Asphalt Wasteland UCF
An Asphalt Wasteland standing on the south-east corner of Corporate Blvd and North Alafaya Trail. It's little more than a large parking lot with shops on two sides where once a heavily wooded lot existed. There are very few tenants, such as a College Book and Supply and, oddly enough, a new Quizno's Subs.


  1. When you put it out there like you have, there is a sense of almost abandonment; something like a mining town with the token vein tapped dry.

    Nice, if alarming, shots.

  2. Yes indeed, your pictures paint a picture of Orlando that I am sure the chamber of commerce will find very distasteful.

    The pictures from your new camera are beautiful all the same.

  3. Amazing how Orlando keeps paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. The "if we build it they will come" mentality is pervasive albeit incorrect. I am dumbfounded about the plaza built at 448 South Alafaya Trail, Orlando, Fl, 32828, north of Curry Ford Road and south of the 408 express-way. In this plaza, "they" have a Puerto Rican eatery and a Dominican restaurant about 30 meters away. This is a sure recipe for failure of both ventures. On Dean Road, just south of the 408 bridge, there is a 22.87 acre tract of heavily wooded land for sale. I actually attended a public town-hall meeting on this one. The city wants to turn it into a medical plaza / storefront area. How much is enough?


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