Orlando Magic Eyes Downtown for New Entertainment Complex, HQs
- Sep 26, 2011
Following a successful first year at the new Amway Center, Orlando Magic is considering an adjacent entertainment complex. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic has won the exclusive right to buy a parking garage that sits right across from the arena, but a price has yet to be discussed.
The project, consisting of a sports-and-entertainment complex and a new corporate headquarters for the Orlando Magic, would call for a $100 million investment. Including a hotel and conference center, dining establishments, taverns and additional retail shops, the project would be anchored by the Magic’s corporate headquarters, currently located in Maitland at the RDV Sportsplex. A new parking garage would also be accommodated to replace the old one. According to the team’s official website, the Magic and its investors would be a part of the venture and no public dollars would be used; this includes $2 million for the on-site feasibility study that will be conducted.
Besides the existing Orlando Magic employees, the complex would bring an estimated 1,000 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs to the area upon completion. It would contribute in a significant manner to the revitalization of Downtown Orlando and the Parramore neighborhood. But 11 small business that currently rent retail space in the city garage will be displaced if the Magic plan moves forward, calling for the demolition of the building.
While Mayor Buddy Dyer and other commissioners praised the Magic’s contributions to the Parramore neighborhood, Commissioner Phil Diamond was the sole council member to oppose, calling it a “sweetheart deal” for the team. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, Diamond argued that the city should solicit offers from other developers as well.