Amway Arena’s Demolition Makes Way for Mini-Metropolis

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor The major Creative Village development may finally be one step closer to fruition, as the city of Orlando will be approving the demolition of the Amway Arena next week. According to the Orlando Business Journal, the [...]

The major Creative Village development may finally be one step closer to fruition, as the city of Orlando will be approving the demolition of the Amway Arena next week. According to the Orlando Business Journal, the demolition of the former Orlando Magic home will cost around $2-$3.5 million, as the city cannot simply implode the arena due to a storm water pipe that stands in the way. The 22-year-old arena will therefore be tore down piece by piece, but we are yet to find out by whom, as bids for the arena’s demolition will come sometime in September or October.

With the Amway Arena out of the picture, downtown Orlando developer Craig Ustler can

start redeveloping the 68-acre site and make way for the impressive Creative Village project. He may even manage to meet his 2010 statement that horizontal construction and infrastructure improvements will start by the end of 2011, beginning of 2012. The prominent mixed-use project will eventually comprise nearly 2,000 residential units, two hotels with 250 rooms, a 9,000-car parking garage and more than 1.6 million square feet of office, education and retail development. Moreover, Ustler envisions the next Silicon Valley for the site—an urban village of art galleries, digital media and technology related companies, retailers, students, and a mix of residents.

According to the Orlando Business Journal, the infrastructure improvements for the project will cost as much as $100 million, while the total build-out of the Village is estimated somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion. Construction will create 6,500 temporary construction jobs, including road workers and vertical construction workers, while upon completion the Village will employ an estimated 8,000 people earning nearly $300 million in wages.

The development team, led by Craig Ustler—working with Orlando-based Baker BarriosArchitects, JCB Construction and Banc of America Community Development Corp. for the project—estimates that the mini-metropolis will take at least ten years to complete.