Hotly debated. Highly anticipated. Here in a year. That pretty much captures downtown Orlando’s rising new performing arts center—aside from colorful photos, of course. Housed on a nine-acre site, the center includes two performance theaters, a community theater, outdoor plaza and performance space, rehearsal rooms, administrative offices, educational programming space, and a community facility. The building itself is approximately 330,000 square feet. In addition, the two-block site will accommodate new restaurants, shops and public spaces. And the project, which began in June 2011 and will be completed in fall 2014, means dollars. Big dollars. It’s among the region’s largest economic generators—supporting approximately 3,000 total jobs and delivering an economic impact of more than $315 million for the initial two theaters, with a third theater making its debut later. Of the 30 largest metropolitan markets in the U.S., Orlando is the only major city that doesn’t have a signature performing arts facility. Change, though, is coming.
Photos by Douglas J. Nesbitt