The Orlando Magic’s plans for an entertainment district to complement Amway Center took another step forward Monday as the Orlando City Council voted to approve construction of the complex across the street from Amway Center.
The complex will be modeled after similar entertainment districts in Los Angeles and Memphis, among others, and will be sustaining itself year-round with shopping, restaurants and convention space. This is not an area completely dependent upon events at the Amway Center.
The $200 million project from SED Development, LLC, a sister company to the Magic, is a really exciting development for a continuing to-grow Downtown Orlando. It will surely become a hot spot for nightlife and for those visiting the City Beautiful in the near future.
“We’ve been talking for about 10 years now about trying to create a new downtown for Orlando and what these venues can do to create economic development and spur other mixed-use development. Because of the recession, it never happened,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “So this is the opportunity to get it really started and be the spark. Hopefully, this is just the beginning. Hopefully there will be other developments that pop up and revitalize downtown so that locals want to live and work and play and eat and be entertained.”
The Amway Center was always designed to help revitalize Downtown Orlando on the other side of I-4 and bring some much-needed economic boost to the Parramore area (granted, there is some displacement and urban sprawl issues that advocates for the neighborhood will rightfully point toward in saying this does not actually help Parramore or its community residents). For visitors to Orlando and for those looking for service industry jobs this will be a good thing. It should add to Orlando’s profile as a city too as the design looks very modern and integrated with Amway Center.
Add in the Orlando City Soccer Club stadium set to be built at the edge of the entertainment complex, and there will certainly be a lot going on in and around this area year round.
The construction will begin with the demolition of the parking lot across the fan plaza on Church Street. The Orlando Police Department headquarters will also be demolished in the project once they relocate to a new headquarters. Slowly but surely, the area around the arena will be transformed.
Hopefully by the time this is completed in 2017 or 2018, the Magic will be back in the championship hunt.