Skip to main content

Watching Orlando Slip-Slide

I've been looking at some of the pageview statistics on the blog, looking for what seems to be catching reader's attention. One page that keeps coming up repeatedly is the "Watching Orlando Unravel" series I posted from January to November 2009. One of the building complexes I photographed in the series was the Windermere Business Center, which is nowhere near Windermere, but that didn't stop them from naming what they did.

I first photographed this complex on my side of Orlando in January 2009, and wrote a bit about it as well, noting that it had very, very few tenants.

.

Over two years later, little has changed. Yes, there are a few more tenants, most notably Tiger Martial Arts, but not enough to allow the original owner of the complex to keep the building. Now Caldwell Banker Commercial owns the paper, and the complex.

Looking closer at the complex, cracks have appeared on the outer surface (and patched over) a mere two years after completion of construction. I can only assume Caldwell Banker is paying to fix the place up.

.

Finally, this two-store strip mall located next to a post office at the intersection of Kirkman and Old Winter Garden Road. It was built in early 2009. It stands silent and empty like so many others from that period.

Kirkman Plaza

On the side of town where I work is a large elaborate strip mall at the corner of N. Alafaya and Corporate. This stretch still stands as empty as the day in January 2009 when I first photographed it.

N. Alafaya and Corporate

And this group of buildings is at the back of Research Park on Discovery Drive. It's been nearly two years since the businesses that once filled it packed up and moved on. While some of the other empty buildings in Research Park have picked up new tenants, this section remains as empty as ever, a permanent casualty of the decline in defense spending in Orlando, and a silent warning of what is to come as more of the defense budget is cut.

Discovery Drive

I observe all this as a counterpoint to governor Rick Scott and the republican-dominated Florida state house's ill-informed attempt to loosen or eliminate the many checks and balances passed since the 1980s, checks and balances meant to keep over-development in check and protect Florida for future generations. Checks and balances that barely work in their current form.

Eliminations that are also supposed to magically help create more jobs in Florida. We've got empty buildings and condos all through Orlando because of the real estate bubble that help trigger the Great Recession. If we're not careful, and if we let Scott and his cronies in Tallahassee follow through, we'll wind up with even more empty buildings as monuments to their stupidity. And even more of paradise will be paved over.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…