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Orlando City's land east of soccer stadium faces months of soil remediation

Orlando City's land east of soccer stadium faces months of soil remediation
Excavation contractors were at work earlier this week on property owned by Orlando City Soccer Club east of the stadium, at the northwest corner of Church Street and Terry Avenue. (Bob Moser)

Orlando City Soccer Club should open its new Downtown Orlando stadium on March 5 as expected, but land the club owns directly to its east still has months of excavation and soil remediation ahead before it can be utilized.

OCSC's land owner affiliate has spent more than $25.52 million on property since July 2015, assembling 14.74 acres across two blocks bounded by W. Central Boulevard to the north, W. Church Street to the south, Glenn Lane to the west, and S. Terry Avenue to the east.

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Of that, 10.554 acres has been leased to its stadium owner affiliate, leaving just over 4.1 acres of land east of the stadium's footprint for other uses.

Those 4.1 acres have started to be excavated for contaminated soil remediation purposes, said Jessica West, operations manager for OCSC at the construction site.

The land had been home over the past 100 years to dry cleaners, auto repair facilities, and other businesses that contributed to soil and groundwater contamination.

The property has been earmarked by the club as a fan entertainment zone and secondary use as temporary game-day parking, but those uses won't be pursued soon, West said, as the remediation work may run through the end of the 2017 MLS season.

City planning officials have had discussions since last November with OCSC about a "fan zone" for pre- and post-game activities, and temporary game-day parking on the club's land east of the stadium.

No formal plans have been submitted for that land as of Monday, per a city spokeswoman. An OCSC spokesman also said the club has not finalized its plans for that area.

In a separate matter, OCSC filed a request on Feb. 7 for a temporary use permit to allow a temporary parking lot at 925 W. Church St., based on the northwest corner with Westmoreland Drive, a block west of the stadium site.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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