Orlando Facility For Sale

Officials in Orlando, Fla., are reportedly optimistic a buyer will surface for the city’s Centroplex – home to the current Amway Arena, anchor tenant Orlando Magic and Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre – thanks to potential federal stimulus money and a plan to transform the facility.

Despite a weak economy, city officials hope the 68 acres of land the Centroplex sits on could bring in at least $90 million, which would help pay for construction of the new $480 million Amway Center scheduled for completion in October and a new PAC, according to the city’s Sentinel.

The city is reportedly planning to turn the Centroplex site into a “Creative Village” for digital-media companies and stimulus money for developers could be the ticket to making that project happen. City officials are ready to solicit proposals, the paper said.

Mayor Buddy Dyer envisions a win-win situation, if all goes as planned.

“We’re probably a little bit ahead of schedule,” Dyer told the paper. “But with SunRail [commuter train] coming on board and with the unprecedented opportunity to potentially access stimulus dollars, we want to see what’s out in the marketplace right now.”
Developers have until April 26 to submit proposals.

However, Fitch Ratings says the city could end up defaulting on the bonds used to pay for the arena construction within two years of its completion, so the city has its work cut out to keep the financing flowing, the Sentinel said.

Fitch reps reportedly downgraded the bonds to “junk” status as of April 3 but it’s believed that won’t hurt the arena project. There’s plenty of money to complete the venue thanks to contributions from the Magic and other public funds.

Two other projects, the $425 million Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and a $175 million renovation of the Florida Citrus Bowl stadium, have yet to break ground.