Orlando’s new Packing District starting to take shape

Iconic juice stand to open in 2022

Progress continues to be made as more work is done inside Orlando’s Packing District.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Progress continues to be made as more work is done inside Orlando’s Packing District.

“It takes a long time to get it to a spot where it starts to move quickly, so here after five years suddenly it’s starting to happen,” Kenneth Robinson, the president and CEO of Dr. Phillips Charities said.

Orlando’s Packing District is starting to take shape. This area was the former site of one of Dr. Phillips’ citrus production plants.

“We had a packing house here, we had the great southern box building where we built the crates that they shipped the citrus in, we had a greening plant, a canning plant,” Robinson said. “This was a hub of business for Dr. Phillips from the 1930s through the 1960s.”

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Robinson took News 6 on a tour of the district back in February. In just four months the 200 acres centered at the intersection of Princeton Street and Orange Blossom Trail have transformed. Since then, The Cannery at the Packing District opened. The apartment complex was the first project to break ground back in 2019 with more housing at market rate to follow.

“There’s a demand for housing inside the community and so we’re hoping to fulfill that demand,” Robinson said.

The Cannery is one of the new housing options coming to the Orlando's new Packing District. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

More projects are coming online in just a couple of months. Construction of the iconic juice stand is wrapping up. In August this is where people can go to get coffee, ice cream, or a slice of pizza.

“This juice stand Dr. Phillips built in the 1930s and so we wanted to promote the history of this area and Dr. Phillips,” Robinson said.

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The 60-acre regional park and tennis center is expected to open shortly after the juice stand opens. The new YMCA is set to open in October.

Robinson adds the project is expanding beyond the district by bringing in new businesses, apartments, and affordable housing to the area.

“We know that there are several projects being planned and developed around this area for that,” Robinson said.

Robinson said there is even more to look forward to next year. A new food hall, office building, and Publix grocery store will open in 2023.

Robinson said it could take up to 15 years to finish the $1 billion project.

“We did want to protect it, preserve it, and put it to the benefit of the community. The easiest thing we could have done is take all the entitlements and all this land and just sell it to somebody from New York or Boston, let them come and do whatever they wanted to do it. But that wouldn’t have benefited the community the way we’re able to stay focused and be a long-term investor,” Robinson said.