College Park is a distinctive Orlando neighborhood. Its name derives from its streets, many of which are named after institutions of higher learning, such as Princeton, Harvard, and Yale. College Park is very close to downtown Orlando, which has made it a popular residential area for young professionals. Most College Park residents are working professionals between the ages of 18 and 49.
Local citrus grower John Ericsson built the first College Park home in the late nineteenth century at 19 West Princeton. At the time, the house sat in the middle of an 80-acre orange grove. Soon after, more settlers followed suit. The arrival of the South Florida Railroad in 1880 led to increased settlement. The city’s development was briefly halted in the late eighteen hundreds following the Great Freeze, an unexpected weather event that spelled disaster for the local citrus industry.
In the 1920s, College Park experienced a real estate boom, as the City of Orlando expanded its northern border to include College Park. Many of the neighborhood’s most well-known subdivisions were established at this time. The Great Depression of the 1930s put a decisive end to this brief real estate boom, but the area recovered during the post-war years.
Jack Kerouac, perhaps the beat generation’s most representative voice, lived at 1418 Clouser Avenue in College Park when his most famous work, “On the Road,” was published. He wrote his follow-up book, “The Dharma Bums,” at the same address, which is now home to the non-profit Kerouac Project, a haven for emerging writers. More than just a hats-off to Jack Kerouac, the Kerouac Project has put Orlando, and College Park in particular, on the international literary radar. College Park was also home to astronaut John Young, who grew up here.
In recent years, College Park has implemented several development projects. Bicycle lanes were added to Edgewater Drive in 2002 and the road was redesigned to be more pedestrian friendly. The Wellesley, a 7-story mixed-use development located along Edgewater Drive, includes 140 residential units that overlook the Sun Trust Colonnade. The Colonnade itself features retail space adjoining a 7,500 Sun Trust Bank branch.
College Park is home to a number of beautiful lakes, including Lake Ivanhoe and Lake Adair. Many of these lakes also feature walking paths, and some even have playgrounds for the kids. Loch Haven Park is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and the Mennello Museum of American Art. College Park also offers much for the food lover to enjoy. From Japanese to Caribbean to the authentic French Bakery Les Petit Pleasures (The Little Pleasures), all dining bases are covered. College Park’s thriving nightlife scene includes Scruffy Murphy’s, a traditional Irish pub, as well as Ollie’s Public House and Paxia Alta Cocina Mexicana and Tequila Lounge. College Park shopping options are equally diverse, ranging from high end athletic gear at Sassy Pants to Bohemian finds at Beachcomber’s Bazaar to Vintage treasures at Dechoes Resale.
The median home sales price for College Park is $255,900. The average price per square foot is $194. Whether you are a young career-minded professional, a free-thinking Bohemian type, or a literary admirer of America’s most famous beat poet, College Park has something of interest for you. If you would like to learn more about living and working in College Park, contact Authentic Real Estate today.