The Orlando Ballet filed formal plans this week to redevelop the Loch Haven Park Neighborhood Center in downtown Orlando as an all-inclusive headquarters, and will be seeking temporary space to lease while demolition and construction occur over the next year.
The organization leases the property from the city. Its consultants met in early May with Orlando planning staff to discuss changes to their 2014 Conditional Use Permit, which had laid out four phases of expansion work through 2029.
"That original plan was five years ago, but the needs of the company have changed and expanding in multiple stages is not practical from an operating standpoint," Jonathan Ledden, president of the ballet's board of directors and founder of local private equity firm Bay Lake Ventures, told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "We must bring together the entire company in one project."
The new building will be dubbed the "Harriett's Orlando Ballet Centre," after Longwood philanthropist Harriett Lake donated $5 million to the project.
The new site plan calls for a two-story precast building of 37,600 square feet. It would have studio space for the Orlando Ballet School and the Orlando Ballet Company, headquarters office space for administrative staff, and 7,300 square feet of ballroom space for public and private use.
Located at 610 N. Lake Formosa Drive, the 2.33-acre site on Lake Formosa currently has a 10,000-square-foot neighborhood center building that dates to 1958. Orlando Ballet uses two studios there for the rehearsal of its professional company.
Ledden declined to forecast a total project cost on Friday. Pending city review and permitting, he anticipated demolition to start on site in the second half of this year.
That means the Orlando Ballet will be seeking 8,000 to 10,000 square feet on a one-year lease for its professional company rehearsal space, Ledden said.
The new building is designed to have a minimal silhouette and profile, with large spaces focused on the ground floor, breaks and turns to vary the massing, two stories of transparent glass at the entryway, and a grand stairway with a glass "wraparound," per the project description.
Its design is modern and contemporary, with simple planar layers in light colors that are offset by cubes of glass inset at strategic points in the elevation.
Portions of an existing common area from the current building will remain that include views of Lake Formosa. Part of the parking requirement will be satisfied with an off-site agreement with the Orlando Science Center.
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 earlier this month.