Do You Know SoDo?

SoDo logo


If you haven’t yet heard of SoDo, you might want to pay attention. Briefly mentioned here in a previous post, SoDo is an up-and-coming community development in South Downtown that promises to rival East Orlando’s Waterford Lakes and the Winter Park Village. My opinion: Winter Park Village should be on watch.

SoDo, lodged near the intersection of Orange Avenue and Michigan Avenue, will be host to apartment living, shopping, and restaurants. This complex is certainly a much-needed rejuvenation for the sometimes dodgy area of town.

So what can you expect once the development of SoDo is complete? Well, here’s a taste:

SuperTarget (unarguably the [shopping] heart of the development)
TJ Maxx
• 24-Hour Fitness
• Rental apartments
• Mix of national shopping brands
• Local boutiques
• Restaurants
• Cafes (reportedly outdoor; ummm, did we forget we live in hot Florida?)

To get a better feel of what the community will look like, check-out this site plan I borrowed from Sodo-Orlando.com:

SoDo site plan

I was in the “SoDo” area earlier today and managed to snap some photos of the progressing development:

DSCN2665DSCN2667DSCN2674DSCN2672

We’ll have updates here as the SoDo development is complete!

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25 comments

  1. I think SoDo is actually going to deliver on what Winter Park Village aspired to. The loft apartments never took off, the other phases actually became industrial rentals (ISP, telecoms, etc) and the neighborhoods around never blossomed into the kind of foot traffic they dreamed. While everything is doing all right it is mainly nighttime and predominated by teens that have no money.

    I am have to second Kim on not driving all the way to Millenia for the Super Target. I am still wanting the Movie theater nearby. The fail of the Downtown one sucks major.

  2. Tim:

    Amen on the SuperTarget. I’m all about that. I might even entertain the idea of moving to SoDo (after I’ve seen the completed residences), and the thought of being able to walk to Target puts me in heaven!

    What’s the deal with the downtown movies theaters, anyway? I was really, really looking forward to those.

  3. dawnpratt:

    Well, I do know the “resident” component of the development is supposed to be open sometime around October. As far as the other parts, I’m assuming before or around then. I’ll see if I can find out more….

  4. For all the Target comments above, I thought you might like to know. Target has a parking deck on the roof! Apparantly they will have elevators big enough for shopping carts.

  5. Kimco Realty Corporation will celebrate the opening of SoDo on October 10th – 12th in Orlando, Florida. The public is invited to join Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, other elected officials and city staff for grand opening festivities at SoDo, beginning on October 10th at 10 a.m.

    US Representative Ric Keller, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Commissioner Phil Diamond, and radio personality Erica Lee from Mix 105.1 will join Mayor Dyer for this exciting event. The Grand Opening weekend will include live music, entertainment, food, activities, and a street fair with local artists and organizations from around the Orlando area.

  6. @SoDo Grand Opening While we weren’t able to actually make it to the grand opening, klynn and I both have had a chance to visit SoDo. The potential is great; there’s still a ways to go.

    Thanks for keeping us posted, though, and for featuring our blog on your website.

  7. As someone who actually lives in the apartments now, I can say yes the Super Target is great and and the apartments themselves nice but overall experience not so hot. I’ve had problems with what I think is maintenance stealing my stuff, starting with small things here and there and larger more notable items later. The parking garage is a nightmare. The drive ways too narrow and huge blind spots on every turn. The fire alarms go off on a daily basis. The Sodo staff is only concerned with moving more people in and only mildly cares for the needs and problems of people living here. The area as a whole as slowed and the other businesses and cafes aren’t coming anytime soon just empty dirty buildings line the ground floor. I wouldn’t suggest living here and wish I hadn’t made the mistake of moving here myself.

    • @Sodo Guy Thanks for being so candid and sharing! Sounds like a not-so-great-experience so far. Hate to hear that.

      We’d be interested in learning about other tenant’s experiences at SoDo, too, if you know of any.

  8. I am sorry to hear about the condos/apts. So far matteress giant, a cell store, a massage store, a bank, Taco Bell, TJ Maxx and Target are open. There are 4 restaurants opening, including a Jason’s Deli. It is too bad about the condo parking garage, but I have been in the other 2 and they are actually nice. My husband says I have been there too many times.

    I also heard that the office leasing group has leased 44,000 feet to a doctor group.

    I think it’s great and aside from “Sodo Guys” comments, I can not wait for some more of the stores to open. The Target cartalater is really cool.

  9. @Margarita Yes, I really like SoDo, too, but have been a little distraught over Sodo Guy’s comments. After all, he’s living there and has experienced things first-hand.

    I would’ve hoped after this amount of time being open that SoDo would’ve attracted some more reputable retailers and restaurants, but I guess the economy is really hitting everyone hard.

    We’ll see what happens in the coming years.

  10. After reading some of the comments on here, I am a bit surprised with the some of the negatives. I moved into the Sodo apartments recently and have had nothing but a great experience. With it being new, I assumed the restaraunts and retail shops would take a while to start opening. Realizing how the economy is and the apartments opening recently, I have asked around to some people who live/work around here and have heard that a lot of the retailers have begun their construction(which I can see when I walk by the vacant stores) and a lot of it should be done by end of May. This coming from someone I met at the 24hr fitness that says he works with getting the businesses their licenses to build/open. Like “magarita” says, he also said their is a very large doctors center opening beside the 24hr fitness but not until end of year b/c it will take time to complete. I have nothing but convenience with all the other stores/restaurants so close. Yes, the fire alarms can be a disturbance but I have lived in other brand new communities and knew it would be happening often. I also was a little irritated with the garage blind spots, I asked mgmt and they said that they just got mirrors delivered that are going to be installed at the garage, a big help! It is much better than the parking garages downtown, they are really bad. All in all, everything has been pleasant and great for me. I like the fact that I can walk almost anywhere and if I want to go downtown its a cheap taxi ride or drive.

  11. I have lived at SoDo for the last 2 months and agree with SodoRes. Taking into consideration that construction is still ongoing, I have been very happy here. The fire alarms have subsided which was an inconvenience while they were testing. SuperTarget, 24 Hr. Fitness, Verizon Wireless, TJ Maxx and Massage Envy have all opened up. There are now hiring signs up on Flippers Pizza, and it looks like they are working to open up more stores soon. The parking garage is tight, however, having lived downtown prior, it is actually a little better, because at least here my friends don’t have to pay to park when they visit. I was a little sketchy about the neighborhood as well when I moved in, but have been pleasantly surprised by how comfortable I feel walking my dog in the area. The apartments also have put in a pet area on the rooftop which has been great especially first thing in the morning. I have nothing but good things to say about the staff and maintenance. The office hosts a dinner for tenants almost every week. It’s great to come home and not have to worry about what to cook on a Thursday night. And just the other day, they handed out scratch off tickets to everyone…I won $25!!!

  12. Where I think SODO made a huge mistake, was not having one other big anchor to help bring lots of people into the area. A movie theater, Borders, Home Depot or anything like that would have kept people coming into the area. If you had a movie theater and a borders or barnes and noble, the place would be packed.

  13. @Will I couldn’t agree with you more! I am at the SuperTarget all the time, but I definitely think another major retailer (not TJ Maxx) or theater would help with business.

    Thanks for the input!

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