IAAPA files plans for new Orlando HQ office bldg, zoning issue unresolved

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) filed its Development Plan on Monday morning for a new headquarters office east of Orlando's tourism corridor, leaving space for a Phase 2 expansion. 

Located in roughly the 4100 block of Taft Vineland Road, southwest of the Beachline Expressway intersection with S. John Young Parkway, the 7-acre investment puts the leading theme park trade group in the world's top theme park market. 

The newly-filed DP shows a main office building of 21,375 square feet with associated parking, and a Phase 2 future building pad of roughly half that size with a related parking expansion. 

IAAPA announced plans in September 2016 to move its headquarters from Alexandria, Virginia to Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel reported at the time, and paid $3 million for the site in late June, buying from Darden Corp., which has the Darden Restaurants' corporate headquarters next door. 

The organization also unveiled a limited sneak peek of its future HQ renderings during the 2017 IAAPA Expo, held at the Orange County Convention Center from Nov. 14-17. IAAPA executives said at the time they anticipate a Spring 2018 groundbreaking and completion by Summer 2019. 

The association filed a request in January in Orange County via Poulos & Bennett to change the property's Land Use Plan, to convert 250 hotel rooms to 150,778 square feet of office for this tract. 

IAPPA also filed on Monday a change request to amend the use from hotel to office for this particular lot on the existing Grande Plaza-NW Quadrant Preliminary Subdivision Plan, which dates back to 2005. 

County zoning staff have already commented on this new DP that the  proposed land uses are substantially different from the approved Orangewood East PD, and from the Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Policy Plan (CPP).

The CPP allows approved Planned Developments to proceed with development in accordance with their approved Land Use Plan. However, Future Land Use Policy 3.1.20 also states that a proposed change to a PD that would increase land use intensity within a PD without a corresponding decrease in some other portion of the PD -- and would result in greater off-site impacts -- must be reviewed to determine consistency with the CPP and whether a plan amendment is necessary, staff wrote. 

So before this project can proceed, a determination of consistency is required. IAAPA has applied for and obtained a vested rights determination from Darden Corp. However, the applicant has not applied for a vested rights determination from the county.

This project cannot go forward until the vested rights determinations for consistency with the CPP has been issued by the county. 

Poulos & Bennett is civil engineer on the project, and Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock/Architects, Inc. (HHCP) is the architect. 

Orange County commissioners approved an incentive package earlier this year of $48,000 over five years for IAAPA to move its headquarters here with 40 high-wage jobs, and a seven-year, 50 percent property tax abatement totaling close to $65,000. 

The association will also receive tax incentives from the state of Florida for the move, and has committed to its annual global conference and trade show at the Orange County Convention Center through 2030.

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