ORLANDO, Fla. -- The City of Orlando's Main Street Program hits its 10-year anniversary this year.
- 9 neighborhoods in Orlando's Main Street Program
- Program celebrating 10-year anniversary
- 10th neighborhood may be added this year
The program emphasizes the important role neighborhood commercial districts play in the overall health of a city’s neighborhoods. In total, there are nine neighborhood districts: Mills 50, SoDo, College Park, Thornton Park, Aubudon Park, Church Street, Gateway Orlando, Ivanhoe Village and the Milk District.
"Ten years, absolutely has flown by," said Jennifer Cunningham, Bikes Beans & Bordeaux co-owner. "It's been the blink of the eye."
Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux is in Audubon Park, and joined Orlando's Main Street program right as it started 10 years ago.
"The name, specifically Audubon Park, has really given people identity. It's given people belonging, it's given people an easier way to be proud, and to talk about where they are," said Cunningham.
Over in the Mills 50 District, the owners at Ten10 Brewing Company agree.
"We wouldn't be here without the mainstream program," said Mike Wallace, co-owner.
Wallace and his staff love brewing beer, but that alone was not enough.
"All the stuff that goes beyond that, the permitting and the city, we didn't have an experience with that," said Wallace.
It was the Main Street Program that helped giving incentives, guidance and more to Ten10 and hundreds of other companies.
"A lot of these districts didn't have an identity, didn't have a brand, some of them didn't even have a name," said Pauline Eaton, Main Street Program administrator. "Try to get more trees, and green, and more walkability, and make these districts just a little more pedestrian-friendly for people as well."
To date, the districts have helped generate $1.14 billion in private and public investments, more than 1,000 new business openings, and the creation of more than 6,000 part and full-time jobs, according to the Main Street program.
It’s yet to be officially announced, but the city of Orlando could be creating a 10th neighborhood district this year.