Orlando

Weeks-Sanchez-Pruessner-Lobby

I wanted to highlight this information that came in as a comment: the Turtle Creek Chorale will be performing a free concert tonight, June 14th at 7:00 PM at Cathedral of Hope. Please join the Dallas community and the chorale at this time of reflection and healing in the wake of what happened in Orlando.

CandysDirt_logo_prideWords cannot describe the horror we at CandysDirt.com felt as the events of Orlando, Florida unfolded. Four of us had just returned from a celebratory trip to New Orleans, where we took home three achievement awards. Somehow that joy was diminished by the slaughter that took place in Orlando, a city known as a place of happiness, where we take children to theme park pilgrimages. Who wants to think about luxurious real estate when 49 people are dead, many more injured, and one of the sunniest cities in the world is bleeding?

A few years back, I wrote for AOL Real Estate on the hot second home market in Orlando, at one time the hottest vacation home market in the nation. This is where Disney developed Golden Oak, homes priced between $1.5 million and $8 million, in a state where the foreclosure rate was also once among the nation’s highest.

The 980-acre Golden Oak development, with two golf courses within the 40 square miles of Disney’s Orlando theme parks, will ultimately house 450 homes and a 445-room Four Seasons hotel sitting in the very center of the development. Disney is also the developer of Celebration, a 4,900-acre development adjacent to their Orlando theme parks, built in the mid-1990s as a new model of small-town living. Completely pedestrian-oriented, the primary-home community of 6,000 homes was designed to be economically diverse, and every commercial structure engineered to be no more than one mile away. I’ve been to Celebration, and it was idyllic. As is the City of Orlando.

Now this community is hurting.

We wanted to share with you some ways to help the Orlando victims’ loved ones:

Local LGBT civil rights organization Equality Florida has set up a GoFundMe page to support the Pulse nightclub shooting victims and their families. More than $1.7 million has already been donated as of Monday afternoon. Donate here.

LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit Planting Peace has launched a CrowdRise campaign to help cover the victims’ medical costs, as well as funeral costs. Donate here.

CrowdRise has also launched a larger relief fund supporting a number of charitable causes, both those helping the victims of the Orlando shooting, as well as those working long-term to address issues of inequality and gun safety. Donate here.

A variety of local Central Florida LGBT organizations have partnered to run an emergency hotline and grief counselors at the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. They have also set up a GoFundMe page, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Orlando shooting victims and their families. Donate here

Oh and yes, we have changed our logo for a bit to show our support for the City of Orlando, Florida, our love for people of all types, sizes, ethnicities, no matter what home they live in, and our prayer is that this is the last massacre.

For $2 million you can grab a Florida mansion for 50 cents on the dollar and maybe even brag to friends or tenants, “Osama Bin Laden MIGHT have slept here.”

It’s huge and sprawling and located just 50 miles outside of Orlando, Florida on State Road 50, but it’s also been vacant and abandoned since 9/11… creepy. (Here’s a local TV station’s look inside, even creepier.) There’s a mansion, carriage house and barn. It’s the former home of Khalil bin Laden, Osama’s brother, who owned the home for two decades, then got out of the country quick a week after the terrorist attacks. The 17-acre estate is now on the market for $2 million.

Which is a bargain.

The Realtor listing the property says the original investors have $4 million in it, so it’s basically going for 50 cents on the dollar.

The agent, Autumn Norris-Makin, says it’s not just the former owners that make this property unique — it’s the architectural detail which is unique for Florida. (I’ll bet!) People have apparently looked at the property as a potential bed and breakfast retreat. After all, it’s pretty close to Disneyland.

Hang on for more deets… this place is almost worth a quick trip to Orlando just to photograph.