ORLANDO, Fla. – The Parramore Neighborhood has officially been designated as one of Orlando’s Main Street District. It’s one of 12 in Orlando, similar to those of Ivanhoe Village and the Milk District. The goal: to bring in local business while preserving the history of each neighborhood.
However, in Parramore, it comes with its own unique set of challenges, according to Natasha Gaye, the new executive director of the Parramore Main Street District.
“So, it’s preservation-based economic development,” Gaye said. “So for us Main Streets, we really advocate for business owners, but also our residents that are part of the community as well.”
The city of Orlando is the largest landowner in Parramore and this Main Street District Program can help decide what kind of economic development comes in. Gaye said the focus is going to be on hyper-local businesses, hoping to find those business owners within the neighborhood and get them into brick-and-mortar buildings.
“It’s not about erasure, right? We have to make sure that we preserve our community as we have had a lot of development,” Gaye said. “That’s one thing that we’ll be looking at because we have quite a few vacancies on South Parramore Avenue. And some of those historic buildings need a little bit of love. So looking at working with property owners to get those buildings up to the proper standard and then inviting viable entrepreneurs, especially from this community.”
To help achieve the goals of a viable Parramore, Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency allocated $50,000 worth of funding to the Parramore Main Street District. That’s the same amount of money also awarded to the City District Main Street Program representing downtown Orlando.
The Parramore Main Street District is hosting one of its first events Saturday, Feb. 26 at noon, unveiling a new mural in the neighborhood.