Baldwin Park Florida
Baldwin Park is a huge mixed-use development with a unique history founded on the principles of New Urbanism. In the Orlando1Orlando is a city in the state of Florida in the United States. It is Orange County’s county seat. Orlando is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area in Central Florida. metropolitan area, it is one of three neighborhood-scale, master-planned New Urbanist neighbourhoods, sometimes known to as Traditional Neighborhood Developments, or TNDs, as ambitious mega-projects. The other two are Avalon Park, in the far eastern suburbs of the city, and Celebration2Celebration was originally founded by The Walt Disney Company1 in the mid-’90s. The master-planned community is fashioned after historical American small towns. From grand estate-style homes to condos, the community features a diverse and interesting mix of housing., internationally known as “Disney town” for its neighboring Disney World location and the role that the company played in its creation. In the 1990s, all three were first envisioned and in the early 2000s they reached fruition.
Unlike the other two, Baldwin Park is significant: it is located not in the exurbs, but within the town of Orlando, about two miles east of downtown. How was such a large piece of land left untouched until the turn of the 21st century in one of the country’s fastest-growing cities? The answer is that on the site of a former U.S. Baldwin Park sits Training center of the Navy, which closed in 1998. Under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program of the military, which in the 1990s closed 20% of the nation’s military bases, Pentagon officials worked with local planners to redevelop the site after it was vacated by the Navy.
The planners of Orlando wanted a neighborhood, not a conventional suburban enclave, that would be an extension of the city. They held a competition for design and recruited a group of acclaimed planners from New Urbanism. In 2002, the very first residents moved in. Baldwin Park’s 1,100 acres are now home to over 6,000 residents, and the commercial high street at the heart of development is prospering after a rocky start, thanks to a surge of new apartments newly built in the city center.
Baldwin Park is based on New Urbanist principles, mimicking as the predominant mode of transportation the urban form of pre-automotive cities that were built around walking. Incidentally, this implies that it also mimics, to a large extent, the design of the nearby Winter Park (an inner-ring suburb with a traditional 19th century downtown), parts of downtown Orlando, and the neighborhoods flanking downtown on multiple sides at the beginning of the 20th century. Through narrow streets and parallel parking, car traffic is kept slow and dispersed on a well-connected grid instead of funneled onto a few arterial roads. Finally, for most people, the single most important daily amenity is not only present, but easily accessible to thousands of residents of Baldwin Park on foot or by bicycle: A Publix grocery store is located in the center of the neighborhood just off New Broad Street, not on the outskirts of an arterial road.
For the developers, this was a huge coup: chain supermarkets are often unwilling to do this but Publix took a chance at Baldwin Park, and this area is now one of central Florida’s busiest Publix stores. Publix was inclined to bury it inside the neighborhood because within three miles it had access to 100,000 customers, something that in an exurban New Urbanist development such as Avalon Park would never have been true. strongtowns.org – Baldwin Park
Residents in neighboring neighborhoods insisted that no shops be built opposite their homes when Baldwin Park was planned, so the town center was located inside the development. For a time the main street suffered vacancies due to its location and the timing of the recession. Over 1,000 apartments have been built or started to be built in the town center in the last two years. The density has led to better-performing shops and there are now few or no vacancies for storefronts. From the beginning, the supermarket, Publix, was successful.
Baldwin Park has an enviable sequence of parks, one of which circles a large lake entirely, a unique amenity for Orlando, a town of lakes mostly ringed by private property. A ‘finger’ of parkland also extends through residential neighborhoods from Lake Baldwin and includes major recreational facilities and fields. Grandin says, “The parks are heavily used not only by those in Baldwin Park, but by residents all around the city.” The Cady Way, a 6.5-mile regional bike-ped path, passes through the community and connects several miles north from Baldwin Park to Winter Park.
Baldwin Park is the most successful new urban project in the city and one of the country’s larger walkable “infill” developments. Walkability has increased from near zero to a Walk Score in the mid 70s when it was a gated institution, very walkable (walkscore.com). With vacation parades, porch sales, outdoor concerts and events, community life is active. Grandin says that with each house getting 150 to 200 trick-or-treaters, some of whom come from other parts of the city, Halloweens are “crazy.” People really do sit on porches in Baldwin Park and chat and talk and walk. On my block, I know everybody and I’ve only been there for 2 years. People are making a point of introducing themselves. cnu.org – Baldwin Park
Where is Florida’s Baldwin Park?
In fact, the Baldwin Park community in Downtown Orlando is a massive new urbanism-style neighborhood. It was built next to Winter Park on land that was a former U.S. Navel School for Training. Geographically, Baldwin Park is located in Central Florida’s Central East section and in the Metro Orlando area’s northeast section. Baldwin Park is bordered to the north by Winter Park, to the south by Orlando Executive Airport3Orlando Executive Airport is only 3 miles from the business and financial center of Central Florida. Central location means that delegates will find numerous restaurants, hotels, stores and theaters within a 3 mile drive of the airport. “door-to-door” service makes the transition from air to ground transportation easy and effortless., to the east by the UCF area, and to the west by Audubon Park and Downtown Orlando. It is home to the Orlando VA Hospital but also features a downtown area on Lake Baldwin with shops and restaurants.
New Broad Street, Meeting Place and Lake Baldwin Lane are the primary roadways within Baldwin Park. Just outside Baldwin Park, Hwy 50 runs through Orlando East West and SR 436 runs through Orlando North South. The 408 and 417 expressways and I-4 are just a few more minutes away. floridaneighborhoodrealty.com – Baldwin Park