ORLANDO, Fla. — In his annual State of Downtown address Monday, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer conceded that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the heart of the city in some ways over the past two years but that the city is in a strong position to take advantage of changes that have taken place.
“The pandemic has ushered in a realignment in how people live and work and how companies locate and expand and do business,” Dyer said. “So, it makes sense that as so much of our lives and economy are influx, so is the state of our downtown. But being influx is not the same as being in trouble.”
Dyer focused his speech on five key factors: development, business growth, housing and homelessness, downtown amenities, and mobility.
Looking to the next five to 10 years, development plans have increased, not slowed, during the pandemic, Dyer said.
“Because of the work we have done together, Orlando is well-positioned to take advantage of the new dynamics,” Dyer said.