The project was never a slam dunk. Urban renewal seldom is. However, in a back-and-forth contest that still isn’t over, the Orlando Magic pulled out a small victory. In late January, the Orlando city planning commission approved plans for a downtown entertainment district.
Now on the Magic’s schedule are more rounds of playoffs, er, approvals.
The $200 million complex, penciled in across from the Amway Center where the Magic play, would bring bars, restaurants and a hotel/convention center along with office space. Conceptual renderings were released by the Magic last November. A parking garage and a new team headquarters are expected first, followed by residential, retail and the hotel.
That’s promising news for the economy. Already, the Magic have agreed to pay out $12 million to help relocate the Orlando Police Department headquarters, and discussions are ongoing to accommodate other existing entities and pave the way for, essentially, more retail spending. The action bears watching as the clock ticks down.
The hope, of course, is that everyone wins.