An artist's rendering of the Skyscraper tower at Skyplex entertainment complex.
An artist's rendering of the Skyscraper tower at Skyplex entertainment complex. (provided)

Skyplex entertainment complex will likely need 114,000 cubic yards of concrete for its foundation, tower and elevated slabs, and at least 5,500 tons of steel for its tower, shopping plaza and related structures in bid packages to be advertised as soon as early Fall, the project's pre-construction general contractor told GrowthSpotter.

While posting early packages on bid sites is contingent on Wallack Holdings' project moving through approval with Orange County government in a timely manner, foundation packages could be advertised in early Fall, while a steel package is projected for December, said John McNary, project executive for Euforria, a subsidiary of Winter Park Construction that's serving as pre-construction GC on the project.

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At this point, Euforria won't pursue building permits until April 2016, which is when McNary said he expects Skyplex architects HHCP to have the necessary drawings ready.

Developer Joshua Wallack's project currently has an estimated budget of $460 million, which includes the roughly $50 million spent to acquire five parcels totaling 11.46 acres.

Once his company begins buying the concrete, steel and other hard costs involved in early-stage construction, that project budget could rise or fall. Skyplex is now expected to be complete by Spring 2018, bumped back from a late 2017 projection made earlier this year.

"This will be one of the biggest (construction) jobs on I-Drive and will hopefully be one of the great monuments in this state, right in the heart of the tourist commercial district," Wallack said.

With a budget projection of $460 million, Wallack currently expects his holding company to supply 20 percent from its own equity ($92 million), up to 45 percent from EB-5 foreign investor loans ($207 million) and 35 percent via construction loans ($161 million).

Those numbers are fluid, he said, especially if more low-interest EB-5 loan money can be secured. The EB-5 value being pursued has increased since early May, when Wallack's EB-5 advisor told GrowthSpotter the project would go after $175 million from foreign investors.

Wallack can pursue more individual EB-5 foreign investors at $500,000 apiece because the estimate of how many jobs Skyplex will create has grown in recent months.

There are now 6,391 new jobs expected to be created by the Skyplex project, with 4,027 due to construction and 2,363 from operations, according to Evans, Carroll & Associates, an EB-5 analysis firm out of Boca Raton.

Those figures were calculated by taking the actual construction expenditures and projected operating revenues, and using the RIMS II regional input/output model to determine the total number of jobs, said chairman Michael K. Evans.

Property rezoning for Wallack Holdings' Skyplex received its first phase of approval on Wednesday from Orange County government, at the Development Review Committee.

bmoser@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5685

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