The Orlando Magic has filed an updated master plan for the Sports + Entertainment District that’s expected to more than double the original $200 million project budget, executives told GrowthSpotter.
Magic Senior VP Joel Glass said the mixed-use district, to be constructed next year on 8.4 acres across from Amway Center, would now cost “well over $500 million.” The district designed around an open pedestrian plaza through the length of the property will contain nearly 110,000 square feet of retail space, a conference center hotel with 80,000 square feet of event space, offices, apartments and a 2,500-space parking garage.
Team executives released the reconfigured site plan and conceptual renderings to the public over a year ago, but it had not sought to formally amend the Planned Development with City of Orlando until this month. The application package maintains the 2018 concept but increases the number of hotels rooms by 50 and more than doubles the amount of office space from the original 200,000 square feet to 420,000 square feet.
S+ED Director Pat Gallagher said office tower would now rise to 18 stories, which includes the ground-floor retail, multilevel parking structure and commercial office space. The Orlando Magic’s new headquarters would occupy 40,000 square feet in office tower. Team President Alex Martins previously told GrowthSpotter the company would expand the office tower based on demand.
“The intent is to do 200,000 square feet,” Martins said in 2018. “If we were to get a significant tenant, we could go larger than that.”
The Magic isn’t releasing names of any tenants yet. Nor has it revealed the hotel flag or development-partner for the apartment community.
“We are very excited about the ongoing conversations we are having as it relates to project partners in all areas, including office and retail tenants, multi-family developers, hotel flag, etc...,” Glass said. “However, as these conversations are ongoing, we don’t have any announcements on partners at this time.”
The retail space will lean heavily on dining and entertainment uses. Gallagher told members of CREW that he’s looking for retailers that will cater to a “lunch and dinner crowd." In addition to the ground-floor retail, there will be opportunities for renting space on rooftops within the district, he said at the August event.
“We want to make sure the project stays active in the day-time and the night-time,” Gallagher said. “It’s important we keep it a compelling place.”
The diagonal pedestrian plaza was designed to help make the S+ED more accessible to Creative Village and to the nearby sports stadiums, according to GAI Consultants.
“This striking pedestrian entrance into the greater sports, entertainment, and education district will provide stunning vistas as well as maximize ground floor uses and festival spaces," the document reads. "In addition, the pedestrian spine will connect Church Street to Central Boulevard, which are the two main pedestrian routes to the Exploria Stadium and Camping World Stadium.”
The bottom floor of the L-shaped parking garage is proposed to function exclusively as a mobility hub featuring rideshare/taxi staging areas and pickup and drop off lanes, according to the plan. The 310-unit apartment tower would be built atop the shared garage.
Glass said the Magic still intends to construct the S+ED in a single phase, with various elements being complete sequentially. “With the relocation of the Orlando Union Rescue Mission to their new and improved facility, the next step in our process will be the demolition of the old Mission building, which we anticipate completing in the second quarter of 2020,” he said. "Our goal is now to complete the entire project in one phase, and as indicated in the PD Amendment application, to be complete by the end of 2022.
HKS is the project architect, and Glass said plans would be submitted to the city’s Appearance Review Board in line with the conceptual renderings released last year. The PD amendment would be heard by the Municipal Planning Board, but a date for the hearing isn’t available yet.
Demand remains high for Class A office space in Orlando’s Central Business District, which has seen rents increase and still enjoys a 93.7-percent occupancy rate, according to Avison Young’s Third Quarter market report. The firm noted that Lincoln Properties will deliver the largely pre-leased SunTrust Tower at Church Street Station in the next few months, prompting Lincoln to move forward with its second, even larger, mixed-use tower.
Also this year, a firm called West Side Venture Fund VII LLC paid $2.24 million for a 1.2-acre assemblage on the southwest corner of W. Central Boulevard and S. Division Avenue. No development plans have been filed for the property. The site currently serves as a parking lot and could provide staging area for either S+ED or the DXV tower.