ORLANDO, Fla. – Downtown Orlando is seeing huge developments being built up all around the business center of the city, dramatically changing the face of the area. However, one development is working to preserve and revitalize a historic building, the Bumby Arcade, to make it the focal point of a mixed-use office and residential area being built by Lincoln Property Company.
Work is now underway to renovate the interior of the historic building, transforming the interior into a food hall with 18 vendors, an underground speakeasy and an anchor restaurant.
The Bumby Arcade was built up around a hardware store that opened along Church Street in 1886 by Joseph Bumby Sr., according to the City of Orlando’s website. The hardware business remained open and family-owned until 1966 when it then became offices for Goodwill. In that time, the building has expanded and housed a variety of businesses and served as an event space in the now-shuttered Orchid Garden at Church Street.
Work is now underway to renovate the Bumby Arcade, transforming it into an elaborate food hall that will be interconnected with the SunTrust Plaza and another mixed-use tower set to be built in the same area — which the company plans to break ground on by end of this year.
“We have the SunTrust Plaza, which is completely up and occupied right now. It offers 200,000 square feet of office space and has an AC Marriott on the upper portion. Next door to that, we’re building another tower which is going to be 35 stories with 200,000 square feet of office and 240 apartment/hotel units,” said Shayna Hansen, director of the Florida region for Lincoln Property Company. “All combined, there’s 400,000 square feet of offices and residential with very few places to really eat on this side of the downtown area. So we decided that a food hall would be a good fit.”
Hansen said there is a dearth of family-friendly food options in downtown Orlando, which is a gap Lincoln Property Company is looking to fill with the Bumby Arcade.
“We’re working with a lot of local restaurants and restaurateurs that either do not currently have a brick and mortar or they may have a brick and mortar and also want a small offshoot location — in downtown,” Hansen said.
She added that they are almost finished with the leasing process for the 18 food stalls inside the food hall but was not ready to comment on which businesses will be there.
“We want to hit every single food group. We want Asian, We want Italian. We want Indian. So, we’re trying to make sure that we have all the right players. We think we do, but it’ll probably be about another two to four weeks until we actually release who with the lineup,” Hansen said.
Currently, Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille sits in the former hardware store, which is designated as the anchor restaurant on the food hall’s floor plans. The Cheyenne Saloon sits on the opposite end of the block. Both locations will be connected to the food hall inside the Bumby Arcade.
“Cheyenne Saloon, it is a staple in downtown Orlando — everybody knows it — activating that for events, and then we’re also talking to a few different prospects that are interested in taking the Cheyenne full-time and really just bringing it back to what it used to be. So, we’re super excited about the way that this is evolving.”
Some hints were offered as to what people can expect inside the Bumby Arcade. Hansen said there would be an oyster bar, a stall offering brick-oven pizza and another offering ice cream among the other fare that will be offered. She added that there will also be an active brewery on the premises.
“We have another food truck vendor that’s really well known over in the Milk District area with lines that wrap around the block to try and get some of their fare, so we really are trying to keep it local,” Hansen said. “We are working with a few different vendors that are not within Orlando just to mix it up. We worked hard not to duplicate restaurants of other food halls that already exist to keep fresh and exciting. We’ve been really careful to make sure that we have that right mix of vendors.”
There will be another food hall down the street. About a block from Bumby Arcade, South Orange Provisions plans to open at 200 S. Orange Ave. According to the developers, CBRE and Piedmont Office Realty Trust, the mixed-use space will feature offices and a food hall with nine vendors.
Additionally, two other food halls plan to open in other Orlando neighborhoods — Milkhouse is coming to the Milk District and The Hall On The Yard is opening up in Ivanhoe Village.
The food hall trend is one being seen across the country, not just in Central Florida.
“When you have family go out to dinner, maybe one person is looking for a steak, another a salad and the children like chicken fingers and somebody else wants Mexican, so it’s a great compromise when you’re going into a food hall,” Hansen said. “Everyone can grab exactly what they want.”
While Lincoln Property Company is making significant changes to the landscape of downtown Orlando, the company is taking pains to preserve portions of the interior of the Bumby Arcade.
“The food hall goes from the Bumby Arcade on Church Street back through the Orchid Garden — and the Orchid Garden is the beautiful building with all of the ironwork on the ceiling area. There’s been a million weddings in that location and our project team and our architects have been super careful and super cautious about making sure that we maintain the integrity of those buildings as everyone knows them,” Hansen said.
She added that the stained glass and the light fixtures inside the Orchid Garden will also remain. Also, the company plans to remove the bricks from the parking area of the former ballroom and donate them to the city.
“The Orlando Arts District plans to use those bricks and make pocket parks in some of the alleys,” Hansen said. “Nothing is going to waste. Anything that we can’t use, we’re donating to local museums, the city or the arts district to make sure that all the items can be reused and repurposed.”
The food hall is set to open by the first quarter of 2022.