Orlando Ballet revisits plans for HQ office & school at Loch Haven Park

The Orlando Ballet is revisiting its design plans to expand the Loch Haven Park Neighborhood Center in downtown Orlando as an all-inclusive headquarters, more than four years after reaching a deal with the city to lease the property.

Located at 610 N. Lake Formosa Dr., the 2.33-acre site on Lake Formosa currently offers a 10,000-square-foot neighborhood center building that dates to 1958. Orlando Ballet uses two studios there for rehearsal of its professional company, and offers the space for community groups. 

The ballet struck an agreement back in April 2014 with the city to pay $1 per year in rent, and renovate and expand the neighborhood center in four phases to eventually serve as its administrative headquarters, rehearsal space and school. 

Since then, a modest 7,136-square-foot addition of studio/office space proposed as Phase 1 by 2016 has not been started. 

But last week, design and construction consultants for the Orlando Ballet met with city planning staff to discuss changes they may propose to their 2014 Conditional Use Permit, which had laid out a phased timeline of expansion for the building through 2029. 

Representatives of LAMM & Company Partners and Rob Schaeffer Visualization and Planning attended the meeting alongside Jonathan Ledden, president of the ballet's board of directors and founder of local private equity firm Bay Lake Ventures

No documents or formal applications have been submitted yet to the city.

Orlando Ballet is in the midst of its design phase for the building, Ledden told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. He declined to comment on how the project's design may change, or forecast a timeline for delivering a new Master Plan to the city.

"The size of the building will be based on approvals from relevant stakeholders, permitting and our landlord, which is the city," Ledden said. "By the end of the year we would like to be on track for our well-publicized long-range plan that calls for being in a new facility by 2020, with all our downtown operations consolidated into one location." 

The future headquarters building would allow Orlando Ballet to vacate two other office and commercial spaces it leases in downtown on Maguire Boulevard and McRae Avenue.

Orlando Ballet's three schools across Greater Orlando now have more than 500 students enrolled, a figure that has grown consistently in recent years and is one factor motivating the headquarters investment now, Ledden said. 

The phased expansion design in 2014 by Baker Barrios included a two-story school building with 10 studios, and production facilities for work on wardrobe and set building for ballet productions.

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