Overheard in Orlando: Helping out the little guys

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Burning suspicions
There are lots of rumors surrounding a fire that started behind Savoy over the Halloween weekend. But one thing is for certain, no one was hurt and Police are working on identifying a suspect. According to a post on the Savoy Facebook page, someone lit a fire on nearby train tracks and also doused the exterior ledges of windows near the entrance of the bar. But that accelerant was never set aflame. Many suggested that the fire was a hate crime, but Orlando Police are staying quiet on that for now. Video footage of the suspect has been turned over to OPD and eyewitnesses have shared their account of the fire. Savoy was quick to thank the OPD and Orlando Fire Department for their quick response. And to put fans of the club at ease, Savoy plans to add more security cameras and better lighting in the back of the property.

Eyeing Ivanhoe
Real Estate Inverlad Development LLC, a developer in town, has Ivanhoe Village, which is known as an arts district for many locals, in its sites for a new local project. The area is also home to the Orlando International Fringe Festival offices. LGBT-owned businesses, like the Venue and D Squared Productions and LGBT ally-owned bars like The Thirsty Topher are also located there. The project is called The Yard, and it will be a mixed-use space allowing for commercial use and residential living but the plan is to keep the aesthetic of the established artists in the neighborhood. According to the project’s conceptual artwork online, the new development will be between Virginia and Lake Formosa, enveloping Alden Road. Douglas White of D Squared said he welcomed progress but hopes the developers plan on working with the current businesses and will strive to keep the artists. As of right now, the current businesses haven’t been told how long they have to move or to renegotiate leases for the new spaces. We were told discussions are set to start as early as next week.

Big support for small business
The MBA has asked members and supporters in the community to pledge to Shop Small. Small Business Saturday will be on Nov. 29, and the MBA encourages businesses to offer deals over the weekend to get local consumers through their doors. First observed in November 2010, it has since been held on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving with reminding consumers to support their locally-owned businesses. If you have a small business and would like to participate, the MBA is asks for emails to be sent to info@MBAOrlando.com.

Giving Face
Team MAC Cosmetics Orlando has teamed up with the Parliament House Resort for the 6th Annual World AIDS Day Fundraiser to benefit the Hope & Help Center. This event is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 30, the day before World AIDS Day, and promises an evening of fashion, artistry and over the top performances. Details will be released on the Parliament House website soon.

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