July 27th 2023
City of Orlando Breaks Ground for Lake Eola Park Expansion
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and others for the groundbreaking ceremony on August 3, 2023 for a pocket-sized expansion of Lake Eola Park. Located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Central Boulevard and Rosalind Avenue, the new Lake Eola Pocket Park will offer residents and visitors a beautiful, comfortable space while preserving the charm and health of Downtown Orlando.
Orlando-based Architecture and Landscape Architecture firm, Borrelli + Partners, Inc. developed the landscape and irrigation design for the new park. The project also includes hardscape construction, new stormwater drainage, new lighting, new irrigation system, site grading, site furniture, and additional streetscape elements. Gibbs & Register, Inc. was selected as the general contractor.
Spearheaded by Lynn Long and Eugenia Sefcik, the privately led, non-profit Orlando Land Trust raised $3.25 million to purchase the small parcel of land to expand Lake Eola Park and preserve green spaces for a healthier Orlando. The formation of the Orlando Land Trust and the purchase ultimately halted a developer’s plan to build a 28-story, multi-use complex. The Orlando Land Trust donated the land to Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency.
“We have said all along that this issue is about protecting the quality of life we all enjoy here in Orlando. Cities are living, breathing things, and while growth is important, so is protecting the city's heart and soul," Long said.
In March 2021, the Orlando Land Trust deeded the parcel to the City of Orlando with the intent to turn the land into Lake Eola’s pocket park. In May of 2022, the City demolished the former 7-Eleven at Rosalind Avenue and Central Boulevard and converted the parcel into a vacant green space until the pocket park could be developed.
At the July 17, 2023, City Council Meeting, an amendment was approved to add the parcel of land to Lake Eola Park boundaries. According to Council documents, costs for design and construction of that pocket park are not to exceed $750,000. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the hopes are to eventually acquire one of the neighboring properties to connect that parcel to the rest of Lake Eola Park.
“This is Orlando’s central park; it is our signature park,” said District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. “It’s so important that we take care of it and that we add to it where we can.”
View the groundbreaking here.
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