With its new training facility open, the Orlando Magic are once again turning their attention to the long-awaited Sports + Entertainment District (SED) across from Amway Center, a $500 million mixed-use project that was shelved in 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Team President Alex Martins told the Orlando Business Journal construction could start in 2023 with a targeted completion date for 2025. Pat Gallagher, director of the SED told GrowthSpotter the team would be releasing more information in the next few months and declined to elaborate.
The team is expected to bring on a new development partner for the 8.4-acre project, which will impact the timing and schedule.
The Magic received city approval in 2020 for a multi-phased project that would include a 23-story apartment tower, a 300-room hotel with 80,000 square feet of meeting space, 110,000 square feet of retail and a 420,000-square-foot office building, which would house the team’s permanent offices. Finally, a 2,500-space parking garage would be built around a pedestrian plaza that stretches diagonally across the length of the property.
The team and development partner may need to reassess the plans in light of other projects announced in the last year. For example, just down the street, Summa Development Group revealed that J.W. Marriott would anchor a new hotel and convention center, along with branded residences, in a 33-story tower at the corner of Church and Pine streets.
The development team will also have to decide whether to move forward with plans for the 18-story office building or scale back to something closer to the original plan, which called for about 200,000 square feet of office space. The Magic expanded the office building design before the pandemic. At the time, the team had hoped to start construction in 2020 and complete the first phase this year.
Sports and entertainment districts have fared well post-pandemic compared to other central business districts. The Battery in Atlanta broke attendance and sales records thanks, in part, to the Braves’ World Series run in 2021. In Tampa, the $3.5 billion Water Street district, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena, is getting a new Ritz Carlton Residences tower and becoming one of the fastest-growing tech districts in the U.S.