A walk through urban Kissimmee
Once known as Cow Town and now a SunRail commuter rail system destination, Kissimmee has grown to become the second largest city in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
For many years, Broadway Avenue was the designated route for U.S. Highways 17 and 92 through Kissimmee. During the early 2000’s, U.S. Highways 17 and 92 were re-routed in an effort to remove heavy through traffic and trucks from the heart of the city’s historic core.
With a mission to preserve and enhance the area for the enrichment of present and future generations, the nonprofit Kissimmee Main Street was established in 1997. The restoration of many historic buildings along Broadway Avenue serves as a visual example of the success of Kissimmee’s Main Street revitalization approach. https://www.kissimmeemainstreet.org/
A mural on the wall of Makinson’s Hardware. Established in 1884, Makinson’s is Florida’s oldest hardware store.
MULTIMODAL CONNECTIVITY AND TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
The Kissimmee multimodal station dates back to 1911 with a rail platform built as a part of Henry Plant’s original 1883 station. Today, the depot serves as a multimodal hub for SunRail, Amtrak, Greyhound and Lynx.
226 Broadway is the site of the former Tropical Hotel. During its heyday, it was considered the finest resort south of Jacksonville. Before being destroyed by fire in 1896, its guest included Thomas Edison, the Vanderbilt family and President Chester A. Arthur. In 2008, City Centre Kissimmee was completed on the former site of the Tropical Hotel. Adjacent to the downtown train station, the transit-oriented development features 33,190 square feet of office condominums, ground floor retail and dining facing three of four blocks and an eight floor multifamily residential component.
City envisions being a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week walkable environment filled with restaurants and shops that draw locals and visitors. The first block of East Dankin Avenue between Broadway Avenue and the Kissimmee multimodal station is a good illustration of that vision at pedestrian level.
The Kissimmee Connector is a shuttle service operates as a first/last mile transit circulator service, running a continuous loop through downtown to and from multimodal station for commuters and others desiring the explore the area without the use of a car.
The historic downtown area is also a part of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). In recent years, the CRA has completed several streetscape projects and constructed a public parking garage that will one day be surrounding by additional transit oriented development.