UPDATED: FEBRUARY 3, 2016 11:52 AM — EPR Properties, a Kansas City-based REIT that has helped fund the land acquisition for many Topgolf developments around the country, paid $7.13 million on Monday for 11.8 acres on Universal Boulevard across from the convention center, where the company will invest a projected $20 million to build a 65,000-square-foot entertainment center.
GrowthSpotterfirst reported on Sept. 10 that Dallas-based Topgolf and Georgia-based Andretti Indoor Karting & Games were in advanced planning stages for neighboring attractions on Universal Boulevard, with more than 20 acres of Orlando Equity Partners land to be acquired between the two, northwest of the Orange County Convention Center.
Topgolf development manager Ted Heilbron confirmed the company's plans on Sept. 24 to build an entertainment facility with a golf driving range on 11.8 acres. Closing on the land purchase and groundbreaking had been forecasted for November, but plat approvals with the county and private factors delayed the process by three months.
Topgolf officials formally announced last week that construction will begin in February on the Orlando property, and the venue is expected to open in 2017.
Andretti Karting is expected to close on its purchase of its nine-acre rectangular lot in mid-April, directly south of the Topgolf lot, where it will spend an estimated $30 million to build a 100,000-square-foot enclosed entertainment center with video games, meeting space, electric go-karts on three levels of elevated track, zip-lines, bowling, a restaurant and more.
Officials at Topgolf and Andretti Karting did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
General contractor on the project is Arco/Murray and the architect is Aria Group, both firms from suburban Chicago that have contributed to the majority of Topgolf's developments in the United States. Both are also working on Andretti Karting's project plans.
A buyer for the 474-acre, 19-parcel package owned by Colony Capital near Universal Boulevard was named in a Dec. 17 sale deed. In an example of expert corporate obfuscation the parent company behind the LLC and the sale price remain concealed, but sources re-affirm the buyer is an affiliate of Universal Orlando or a subsidiary of its parent company, Comcast.