Leaders of Orlando's "Milk District" shared their vision on how to promote and grow the area’s small businesses at the Plaza Theater on June 29.

  • Area gets its name from T.G. Lee Dairy Plant on Robinson Street
  • District leaders consider the area "eclectic"
  • District is 10th member of City of Orlando's Main Street program

The husband and wife owners of National Real Estate, Giovanni Fernandez and Elise Sabatino, could have moved their business anywhere, but they chose the Milk District.

“The Milk District we stumbled upon because we saw it as a district that really had a lot of area for growth," said Sabatino.

The area gets its name from the T.G. Lee Dairy Plant on Robinson Street. It gets its identity, however, from its residents and business owners, who are proud to describe it as "eclectic."

“Eclectic is the best word," answered  Amy Huizenga, who serves as the President of the Milk District Board of Directors. "It’s a very good word. We’re very eclectic, eclectic, eclectic area. We have everything from the bar night life to the area where its almost all just fitness."
Meanwhile, Richard Lee, the son of T.G. Lee, remembers a different era for the area.

“I can remember when where we’re standing and where we’re sitting was a corn field," said Lee.

However, Lee added that he is proud of what the Milk District has become, and what it will offer in the future.

“I remember some of the old days when it was almost nothing and to see all of the growth and just about everything is positive too, that’s the main thing that’s important," Lee said.

Huizenga added she hopes the district will become a place where people can both conduct business during the day and relax afterward without ever having moved their cars.

“Having an area where you really could come here in the morning and spend the entire day, and finish it off with a beer at night and feel like you’ve had a day where you’ve done all of the things you wanted to do and you never left this area," Huizenga said.

“Really branding the district and really making it somewhere that people that are tourists want to come and see what this district has to offer," Sabatino concluded.

The Milk District is the 10th member of the City of Orlando's Main Street program.