A massive parking garage under construction on Independence Lane near City Hall serves as the first concrete sign of a downtown dream two decades in the making.
City officials say the garage is crucial to the $68 million Maitland City Centre project, which is poised to transform the area into a pedestrian-friendly, urban core. But the garage, which will stand seven stories, has drawn the ire of some residents who call it an eyesore.
Charles Rudd, community redevelopment agency manager, said work on City Centre should be complete within two years, and the parking structure will be concealed from view by six stories of apartments and retail.
The reshaping of Maitland’s downtown will include various other projects over the next two decades, including extending Independence Lane south a few blocks to Lake Lily Park. Over a 20-year span, officials imagine the area shifting to a walking downtown, where locals can go for a night out, rather than taking their money to nearby Park Avenue or downtown Orlando.