Being in the “Dog House” Can Be a Good Thing

Custom built dog houses have been around for a while, but some Posh Pooches live in Extreme Dog Houses. These homes, believe it or not, come with air conditioning, heating, porches, and even pool decks with bone shaped pools.  Some also have solar powered lights with timers and very insulated windows and walls.  Paris Hilton built a Doggy Mansion for her pet friends, complete with couches, chandeliers and closets for their doggy outfits.  

Stately Dog house

Image courtesy of

These doggy mansions don’t come cheap.  A custom doggy home can start upwards of $600 and range all the way up to $30,000 or $325,000 for Paris’s Mediterranean Style doggy mansion (read more).  But not every Pampered Pooch likes a Mediterranean Mansion!  These Doggy McMansions come in many shapes and sizes.  There’s the “Celebrity Brick Estate House” for the very spoiled pooch (read more).  This doggy mansion comes complete with running water, custom lighting and of course heating and air conditioning.  Or for those pampered pooches with a more modern taste, there’s the Cubix dog house, inspired by Bauhaus architecture (read more).  And for the pooch who prefers the farm living there’s The Hundehause Farm Dog House (read more).

The Modern Dog House

Image courtesy of

Wouldn’t you mind being in the doghouse now!  Here are more luxury dog houses for the pampered pooch in your life (read more).

The Farmhouse Dog House

Image courtesy of

Showing Simulation (1)

Showing Simulation Tours

Showing Simulation Tours are destined to become the future of real estate marketing and sales. These cutting-edge tours are exclusive to uOwn Real Estate and combine interior 360 degree walkthroughs and mapping to give users a 'virtually' complete online showing.

These tours have recently been enhanced to include a smoother tour experience, a more intuitive user interface, a better mobile experience, the addition of Google Streetview, and more. These improvements reinforce Showing Simulation Tours as the most advanced real estate tours in our market. Learn more about Showing Simulation Tours by watching the video below or experiencing the tours at


Orlando Tech Scene

Orlando Tech Scene on the rise

There is another industry growing right beside the Orlando Tourism industry; the Tech Scene in Orlando is beckoning to be noticed. With all the buzz in and around the tech industry in Orlando, it is necessary that members of the tech community take an active role in supporting growing companies and promoting regional activity.  That is the primary purpose of Orlando Tech Association (read more). OTA is connecting technology companies across the region through events, news, and an active networks of individuals working to support industry growth.  In partnership with the City of Orlando, OTA is working to bring a sense of connection to the Orlando tech community in the form of a new digital main street.  Modeled after the district structure of other Main Street communities, the digital main street  connects digital efforts throughout Orlando.  OTA runs the Orlando Tech Meetups, a monthly gathering of tech entrepreneurs and enthusiasts that allow local tech startups to demo products to a live audience and get real-time feedback right here in Orlando (read more).  

Canvs, a non-profit tech hub in Downtown Orlando, co-founded by Philip Holt, is a 17,000 sq ft co-working space intended to give start up companies space to work, brainstorm ideas and professional advise, and hopefully one day have their own space in Creative Village, a new Tech complex being developed in Downtown Orlando and due to have the first buildings completed in 2017 and 2018 (read more).  Canvs is described as a YMCA for tech startups — a building fully equipped with all the necessary tools and activities to get their businesses into shape (read more).  The Tech Co-working sector continues to expand in Orlando showing the growth of the Orlando Tech Industry (read more).

University of Central Florida (UCF), the second largest University in the United States, and the research park that surrounds it has the tremendous technology industrial strength to make Orlando a Tech/Entrepreneurial city it longs to be.  The UCF Business Incubation Program is a university-driven, community partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs.  The program helps early-stage businesses develop into financially stable companies by providing the tools, training, and infrastructure that help facilitate smarter, faster startup growth (read more).

Technology is rapidly becoming the second largest industry, and taking notice are the major corporations like Apple, Deloitte, Lockheed Martin & Siemens just to name a few.  Deloitte is in the process of hiring 1000 tech professionals for its new IT center in Orlando and Apple has been hiring hardware engineers in the area.   And of course gaming companies like Zynga and Electronic Arts also have a presence in Orlando (read more).  The city’s economic development campaign has been labeled “Orlando, You Don’t Know the Half of It,” in an effort to bring attention to the city’s employment opportunities outside of tourism.  With all this growth and expansion, expect to see Orlando in the Tech spotlight in the coming future.



I-4 Ultimate Expansion Photo (1)

Ultimate I-4 Expansion

Central Florida will be getting a vastly-improved Interstate 4.  I-4 has been the backbone of the Central Florida highway system and will soon be completely  transformed for 21 miles, from Kirkman Rd in Orange County to State Rd 434 in Seminole County.  The plans call for four new Express Lanes down the middle of I-4, reconstructed interchanges and Tolls Booths and brand new bridges (read more).  This massive project is one of the the largest public-private partnerships undertaken in Florida to date.  Private investors will fund nearly $1Billion of the bill, but would be reimbursed with toll money (read more).

Bridge District

Still in it's conceptual phase, the Bridge District would liven up the I-4 corridor underpasses.  With the Ultimate I-4 Expansion widening and raising the heights of underpasses, it's a great opportunity to recreate these areas that have been under utilized as dark, dank, parking garages.  There have been several ideas which include adding shoppes and cafes, or maybe additional recreation space.  Orlando has already tried to liven up the underpass on Church St with some lighting displays, so this would just be expanding the thought process.

Rendering of Downtown Orlando's Bridge District

Rendering of Downtown Orlando's Bridge District

This is not a new idea - many cities have done the same with varying degrees of success.  Toronto turned one of their underpasses into an recreational park with a skating arena, basketball courts and mirrors and lighting to illuminate the area.  In the Netherlands they built cafes, a supermarket, flower and pet shops and recreational parks as well.  These are just a few examples (read more).  The Bridge District should bring new life to the Downtown area.

Area 1 - Attractions

If you are traveling east on I-4, you will enter the project just west of Kirkman Road in Orange County, with direct access to the Express Lanes. The direct access will be marked with decorative pylons — a signature aesthetic treatment you will encounter throughout the corridor. I-4 Beyond the Ultimate is planned to continue the improvements of I-4 from Kirkman Road to U.S. 27 in Polk County, extending another 21.2 miles (read more).

Area 2 – Downtown

The downtown Orlando stretch of I-4 houses eight interchanges, including State Road 408. Within this strech of I-4, you’ll notice a more aesthetically pleasing design and a more open-air feel. Drivers and pedestrians alike will experience a true transformation as the bridges and the spaces underneath are beautified with green space and lighting accents (Bridge District). In addition, direct connections to the Express Lanes will be provided at South Street and Anderson Street (read more).

Area 3 – Ivanhoe

Headed to the Amway Center from the east, you will enter the Ivanhoe area — a main access point to and from downtown Orlando.  You will notice a high level of aesthetics was incorporated here, including entry landscape, vertical monuments, lighting features and illuminated pylons that demark the gateway.  There will also be additional auxiliary lanes eastbound, from Colonial Drive to Princeton Street, westbound from Maitland Boulevard to Lee Road and eastbound from Princeton Street to Fairbanks Avenue. These lanes will increase the amount of traffic the area can accommodate and improves the level of service. No more traffic jams as you leave that downtown concert! (read more)

Area 4 - Altamonte

Going west from Daytona Beach, drivers will enter the I-4 Ultimate project just east of the State Road 434 interchange in Seminole County. If your trip takes you all the way through the city, you will experience a reliable travel time that reaches the attractions in a timely manner. Four Express Lanes are planned to continue from the State Road 434 interchange all the way up to State Road 472 in Volusia County. (read more)

Photo Renderings

Orlando 2.0 - Life with Creative Village

Orlando 2.0 – Life with Creative Village

The $1 Billion Creative Village project is to break ground this week, May 14th, 2015, with approximately $13 Million of construction on the infrastructure for the bus route and the building paths (read more).

 The 68-acres of land at the former Amway Arena site will soon be the site of an active "24/7" neighborhood that will attract digital media, tech schools and the "creative class" to that part of Downtown Orlando (read more).  Creative Village is a partnership between the City of Orlando and Creative Village Development, LLC, Bank of America Community Development Corporation and led by a partnership between Craig Ustler, Tim Baker and Brooke Myers. It will be the first of its kind in Central Florida.  Being marketed as a live-work-play neighborhood, Creative Village will be catering to the "Creative Class" (read more) focusing on technology, arts and education.

Creative Village will be built around a central park running north to south and will have an amphitheater serving as central community gathering spot.  There will be about 7 parks throughout the neighborhood appealing to the outdoor types and promoting the "live, work, learn and play" lifestyle.  There will also be 1,500 units of mixed-income housing, including student housing, flats, town homes and brownstones.  They have projected as much of 500,000 square feet of educational space and  over one million square feet of office and "creative" space.  In the spirit of making it a mixed use complex there will be 150,000 square feet of commercial space and of course 150-200 hotel rooms (read more).  University of Central Florida in partnership with EA Sports will be some of the major players to anchor Creative Village (read more).

It is important to mention this project is a combined effort between the public and private sectors, and will take anywhere from 15-20+ years to complete.  While this venture will bring new life to the Parramore area there has been nor will there be any displacement of current residents.

Due to the scope of this massive project, it will take many years to complete, but projects of this magnitude can only be created through smart, sustainable growth.  Creative Village is a game-changing concept in Downtown Orlando. It will further define Orlando as a city of the future and will completely change the physical  and economic landscape of Downtown Orlando.

Orlando’s Expanding Attractions

Orlando Attractions Grow With over 62 Million visitors a year the Orlando area continues to grow and expand. Today is the Grand Opening of the Orlando Eye, the 400 Ft tall observation wheel and newest attraction on International Drive. This event will usher in a new era for the I Drive area with a multitude of new attractions, hotels and restaurants.

The Orlando Eye (read more) will provide 360 degrees of unobstructed Central Florida/Orlando views. You will be able to see Downtown Orlando, Cape Canaveral, all of the Theme Parks and landmarks as well. The Eye is anchored by the I-Drive 360 Complex (read more) which houses two other exciting attractions. Orlando’s Sea life Aquarium (read more) with a 360 Degree water tunnel and over 5,000 sea creatures, and Madame Tussaud’s Orlando ( read more) with wax replicas of your favorite A-Listers is expected to attract tourists from all over.

Scheduled to open in the summer of 2017 is the I-Square Mall and Hotel. (read more) A Mega Luxury Hotel with approximately 700 superior guest rooms and 30+ super luxury suites with butler service. The lobby of this grand hotel with include world class gourmet restaurants with a 24 hour revolving restaurant with an observatory deck on the top of the Hotel. Amenities will also include a 24,000 sq ft Luxury Spa, and meeting facilities featuring a Grand Ballroom with over 100,000 sq ft of space. And of course a Helipad for arriving VIP guests. All of this and a world class shopping mall with all the world class designer stores.

Another new addition to the I-Drive area is The Artegon Marketplace.(read more) This is a 1.1 Million Square foot mall with anchor shops such as Ron Jon’s Surf Shop and Toby Keith’s I love This Bar & Grill to name a few. With a movie theater and bowling alley on location in addition to numerous world class restaurants and shops, The Artegon Marketplace is a great addition to the Orlando area.

For a tour of the I-Drive corridor and more information about current attractions and future attractions take a ride on the I-Drive Trolley or I-Ride.(read more)

Orlando Ranking High in National Polls

Orlando Ranking High in National Polls

Orlando is the place to be in 2015.  Consistently, Orlando is ranking as a top city nationally and internationally for a variety of different reasons. The attention has come due to Orlando’s growing economy, thriving tech scene, international travel appeal, and other categories that may surprise many people.
In 2014 Orlando was named #1 for job growth in the nation with 3.7% job growth – more than twice the nationwide average, according to Forbes Magazine (read more).  Earlier this year the NY Times named Orlando #13 on it’s list of places to go in 2015 (read more).  Disney and Universal have always been an attracting force, but Orlando is finally being noticed for other great things.  Orlando has a thriving thespian scene than has only increased in notoriety with the opening of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in the downtown Orlando, bringing new life to that part of town.

Orlando has also been recognized by foodies from across the nation.  Orlando has some fabulous award winning chefs in town catering to the most discerning palates.  James Beard award nominees and winners include the chefs at Ravenous Pig & Cask and Larder, Txokos Basque Kitchen at East End Market, just to name a few.  Wine Enthusiasts Magazine named Orlando one of the Top 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2015 (read more).  In 2014 Orlando was the most traveled city in the US with 62 Million visitors (read more). Orlando also caters to the discerning traveler with newly opened Four Seasons Resort Orlando and the Waldorf Astoria by Hilton.  The Orlando World Center Marriott Resort caters to some the best of the best in the Golf world.  And, of course, the Floridian Hotel catering to the retail shoppers of the world.

“The City Beautiful”, as Orlando is also known, is also being ranked as “An American City of the Future” (read more).  Many international companies such as Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems of Japan, Siemens from Germany and Mazor Robotics from Israel, to name a few, have chosen Orlando as their home and have made Orlando a new Tech City (read more). released statistics that downtown Orlando’s 32801 zip code was the most searched zip code (read more) for real estate for sale in 2014. This exciting real estate statistic shows that Orlando is a hot spot for real estate throughout the nation.

As Orlando receives more notoriety and continues to grow, it will only attract more visitors, residents and businesses.

Bike Sharing Downtown

Looking to switch up your commute or enjoy the fresh air some more? Enjoy an active lifestyle, inexpensive and environmentally friendly ride with Downtown Orlando’s Bike Share…It’s as easy as Reserve, Release, Ride, Return!

Use the Bike Share mobile app to find and reserve your ride. You can also reserve a bike right on its keypad. Unlock the bike with a 4 digit code after reserving and enjoy your ride. Once you’re done, return to a bike rack or hub and thats all!

Rates begin as low as $5 for an hourly rental with various memberships also available. Keep in mind, you can return the bike to any bike rack or hub, but returning to a bike rack (non-hub) does incur a $2 fee. Taxes are not included in the rates, and you must be 18 or older with a credit card to ride.

Visit the Orlando Bike Share website at for more details.

Enjoy your ride, and please bike safely!

Article written by Michael Leanna, Realtor®

uOwn Opens Second Location in Thornton Park

uOwn Real Estate is proud to announce the opening of its second office location in the popular Thornton Park district of Downtown Orlando. Thornton Park is locally renowned for its fine restaurants, boutique businesses, and proximity to Lake Eola Park. The new office is located between the popular restaurants Dexter's and Graffiti Junction at 888 E Washington St.

As a satellite office, this second location is an expansion to the uOwn Real Estate brand. The storefront has a clean, modern appearance and digital window displays capture the attention and curiosity of each person that passes by. This office offers a new way for uOwn to connect and engage the Downtown Orlando community through creative outreach and marketing. Like uOwn Real Estate Thornton Park on Facebook to keep updated on news and events for this office.


Mayor Dyer appoints dynamic Project DTO Team

Mayor Dyer has appointed a task force for the continued revitalization of Downtown Orlando.  Sean Frank, Broker and Owner of uOwn Real Estate has been appointed to this task force with nearly 70 other influential community leaders.
City of Orlando Press Release March 26, 2014—Orlando, FL –Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is pleased to announce the appointees of Project DTO – Advancing Downtown.  Project DTO, compromised of more than 70 community leaders, is a taskforce for that will undertake a comprehensive visioning process that will serve as the roadmap for the continued revitalization of Downtown Orlando. The process will emphasize heavy public and stakeholder outreach, including crowd sourcing and interactive public experiences to gain insight into the community’s needs and interests. Additionally, the Project DTO Task Force will be working in coordination with the ongoing Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan.
Project DTO will build on the recommendations outlined by the Downtown Strategic Transition Team (DSTT), which was launched by Mayor Dyer in 2003.  The DSTT made 166 recommendations of which 136 have been completed or are in progress. In the last 10 years, through these recommendations the number of residential units in Downtown has increased by more than 80 percent; projects like the UCF Center for Emerging Media, the Community Venues, the movie theater and Publix have been completed and Downtown has become a more pedestrian-friendly destination with expanded public transportation options.
 “This task force is unique because it allows people who are passionate about Downtown to have the opportunity to help shape its future,” said Mayor Dyer. “With this type of collaboration we will ensure that Downtown Orlando remains the region’s cultural, economic and social hub.”
Name Organization
Ben Noel Executive Director, The FIEA
Brooke Myers President, Emerge Real Estate Ventures, LLC
Ken Goldstone Chief Operating Officer, Full Sail University
Eddy Moratin Executive Director, LIFT Orlando
Eliza Harris Urban Planner, Canin Associates
Danielle Courtenay Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Orlando
John Martinez Director Public Finance, PNC Bank
Karl Hodges Vice President, Orlando Health
Nan McCormick Senior Vice President, CBRE United States
Richard Morrison Senior Vice President, Florida Hospital
Dr. David Swanson Senior Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando
Valerie Mundy Principal, IMDC and Managing Partner at Global One Networks, LLC
Gene Zimmerman Owner, The Courtesy Bar
Greg Reynolds President, Downtown Orlando Condominium Alliance
Jeff Gitto Operating Partner, Vintage Group Concepts
Melissa Schuman Mother Falcon
Paul Ellis President, CNL Commercial Real Estate
Sean Frank Broker/Founder, uOwn Real Estate & GO3D Expansion
John Cabrera Software Engineer, Orlando Health/ Joca Web Services, LLC
Catherine Price President, Execu-Suites Office Business Centers
Fred Kittinger Associate V.P., Director of State & Government Affairs
John Burden CEO, Old Florida National Bank
Maylen Dominguez Program Manager, Full Sail University
Allyson Meyers VP/General Manger at WOFL-TV Fox 35
Andrae Bailey Central Florida Commission on Homelessness
Bob Orahblo Solar Bears
Kay Rawlins Director of Community Relations, Orlando City Soccer
Lucas Boyce Orlando Magic
Brandon Chandler Owner, Hyppo
Carlos Carbonell Echo Interaction
Christina Pinto Financial Planner, MPC Solid Financial Strategies
Dr. Falecia Williams Valencia
Gregg Pollack Envy, Starter Studio
Maritza Martinez Vice President, Community Relations, UCF
Matthew Alexander Commercial Insurance Agent, Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc.
Mikael Audebert President, MBA Orlando (Metropolitan Business Association)
Phil Holt President & CEO, Row Sham Bow, Inc.
Shawn Seipler President and CEO, Clean the World, Inc.
Gaby Ortigoni Community Relations Manager, OUC and President of Association of Latino Professional in Finance & Accounting (ALPFA)
Julio Rocha CEO, Rocha Financial Group LLC
David Martens President, Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association
Lisa Cuatt Director, Thorton Park Mainstreet District
Amanda Day Marketing Communications Consultant, Day Communications Inc.
Michael Taramykin Vice President, Zynga
Eric Jackson President, Total Roof Services
Bobby Jones Founder & CEO at Purple, Rock, Scissors
Cole Nesmith Creative City Project
David Friedrich Grand Bohemian
David Yu Owner, Bento Group
Diane Ketts Orientation & Mobility Specialist, Lighthouse Central Florida
Jason Reynolds Orange County, Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Division
Jefre Manuel Visionary and Design Director, Studio Jefre LLC
Joe/Rob Nunziata Downtown 2.0/FBC Mortgage
Mitzi Maxwell Executive Director, Mad Cow Theater
Paul Stephens Circle of Friends
Roger Cook Senior Vice President, JP Morgan Chase
Stuart Newmark Executive Vice President & COO, Media Management
Terry Delahunty Attorney, Law Offices of Terence J. Delahunty Jr. P.A.
Jonathan Perry Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
Jennifer Quigley Vice President, WBQ Design & Engineering
Shelley Lauten
John Crossman President, Crossman & Company
Michael/Matt Morgan Attorney, Morgan and Morgan
Reverend Larry G. Mills Pastor, Mt Sinai Baptist Church
Doug Taylor Owner, Church Street Entertainment
Jessica Burns R.L. Burns Inc.
Monica May News/Community Affairs Director, Star 94.5/ STAR CARES
Dr. Robert Spooney Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Ann Brown President, Callahan Neighborhood Association
Lynn Nicholson Parramore Community Garden
Shanta Barton New Image, Founder
Thomas Kornegay Chairman, Founder & CEO, TeKontrol
Executive Committee:
Cari Coats President, C2 Advisors, Inc.
Paul Mears President, Hello! Destination Management and Mears Transportation Group
Tom Sittema Chief Executive Officer, CNL Financial Group
Harold Mills CEO, ZeroChaos
Carlos Barrios Partner, Stephens-Barrios
Sarah Kelly Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers
Steve Garrity Vice President, Highwood Properties
Linda Gonzalez Orlando Magic
Jay Berlinsky Found & Owner, SC Advisors
Kelly Cohen Manager Partner, Southern Strategy Group
C.T. HSU President, C.T. HSU & Associates P.A.
Ken Robinson CEO, Dr. Phillips Charities
Bill Dymond President, Lawndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed, P.A.
Craig Ustler President, Ustler Development Inc.
Jacob Stuart President, Central Florida Partnership
Phil Rawlins Owner and President, Orlando City Soccer
Vernice Atkins Bradley President/CEO at Votum Construction
Tiffany Moore-Russell Orange County District 6, Commissioner
Wendy Oconnor True Marketing
Roger Chapin Mears Transportation
Vivian Bryant Executive Director, Orlando Housing Authority