Orlando’s new Packing District will reshape city landscape

City leaders hosts public hearing on proposed changes to Princeton Street, Orange Blossom Trail

Orlando’s new Packing District will reshape city landscape
Orlando’s new Packing District will reshape city landscape

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rooted in the rich history of Dr. Phillips’ old citrus packing houses, an area along Princeton Street is now blossoming as Orlando’s new Packing District.

The Packing District, just west of College Park, makes up 202 acres of land in Orlando from Princeton Street to John Young Parkway down to Orange Blossom Trail. Already along OBT, heavy equipment is building up the first project in the Packing District called The Cannery. The Cannery will be 307 residential luxury apartments available for leasing in 2021.

Also planned for the area, a new YMCA, a park and tennis center called City Park at the Packing District.

John Rivers, the founder and CEO of 4 Rivers, is also planting roots in the area with plans to build a 40-acre urban farm.

City officials say the Packing District will reshape the city landscape.

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On Wednesday, city leaders hosted a public hearing at the Northwest Community Center in Orlando to talk about all the changes coming to the roads in the area. Those changes include reducing Princeton Street from six lanes to four lanes, adding a raised median, bike lanes and wide sidewalks to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

With all the development, Chris Cairns, Orlando’s transportation engineer, explained why the plans include reducing Princeton Street to four lanes. He said because right now, the road is actually overdeveloped.

"Right now the road is over-designed which means people tend to drive faster," Cairns said.

Cairns said currently 19,000 cars per day travel on Princeton Street in that area and a four-lane road can carry up to 30,000 cars per day. City officials released renderings of what the four-lane road would look like, including landscaping, wide sidewalks and street parking.

Renderings of 4 Roots Campus planned in Orlando's Packing District.

“With a more narrow (road), it’s going to be easier for people to cross and park on the side of the road, they can get to where they are going more safely,” he added.

Cairns said the city also plans to build a roundabout at Princeton Street and Texas Avenue.

“The roundabout itself will also be a physical feature to bring speeds down,” he said. “It’s going to look more like a neighborhood within a city instead of a highway trying to push a lot of vehicles through.”

It’s going to look a lot different.

Construction on the street project is set to begin this summer and continue until the end of 2021.

To see more of the changes coming to the roadways, click here.


About the Author:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.