Rezoning for Skyplex entertainment complex delayed over noise study

Progress on property rezoning for Wallack Holdings' Skyplex entertainment complex will be delayed by about a month, after civil engineers on the project failed to have a noise study ready for Orange County's Development Review Committee on Wednesday.

Set for the north side of Sand Lake Road between International Drive and Canada Avenue, Skyplex will combine five parcels and more than 11.46 acres. The project includes 39,823 square feet of restaurant uses (including the world's largest Perkins restaurant), 333,423 square feet of entertainment uses (ex: the Skyscraper roller-coaster, Skyfall drop attraction), 95,371 square feet of general retail and a 350-room boutique hotel. 

Orange County's DRC was asked to recommend rezoning of the property from C-2 to Planned Development (PD). A DRC rezoning recommendation is typically voted on by the Planning Division a month later, followed by a final approval of the PD by the Board of County Commissioners a month after that. 

But Littlejohn Engineering Associates did not have a noise study ready, despite being advised to prepare one on April 1. The study, now under way, involves researching noise impact of similar roller coasters near residential or hotel properties, one of which includes Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa. Wallack's Skyplex will operate beyond 10 p.m., increasing importance of the noise study.

John Smogor, planning administrator for Orange County Government, told Wallack's Littlejohn representatives he had no sympathy for them after they had more than a month to prepare. Littlejohn must have its noise study ready by June 10 for Wallack's Skyplex project to return to DRC on June 24. 

Wallack's team will also have to re-plat the five property parcels as one and have property titles rewritten as one in the coming months, DRC staff said. 

Wallack Holdings wants to raise $175 million this year for its Skyplex entertainment complex on International Drive from Chinese investors and the U.S. government’s EB-5 loan program, with the project’s cost now pegged at $460 million, the developer’s EB-5 advisor told GrowthSpotter.

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