City votes to approve new Orlando Magic entertainment complex

Team wants to buy land of OPD headquarters for $12.7M

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando city council members on Monday approved a real estate deal that would see the demolition of Orlando police headquarters.

[PICS: Orlando Magic headquarters | Renderings ]

The business arm of the Orlando Magic wants to purchase the 7.8 acres of land that currently house the police headquarters, a parking garage and a parking lot for $12.7 million.

The deal was approved by a unanimous vote just after 3 p.m. Monday.

Team developers want to build a hotel, convention center and house the new Magic headquarters at the location, which they bill as an "entertainment complex," which they're ready to sink $100 million into as a form of economic revitalization.

"The recession has stopped that from happening to date," said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. "We can continue this by providing this initial spark. It also gives us the opportunity to move our corporate headquarters downtown."

In a presentation given to Orlando city council members on Monday, new renderings show how they want to transform the large city block into a "destination."

Phase One would see the construction of a new Orlando Magic headquarters.

Phase Two would see construction of a new conference/convention center with a 40,000 sq. ft. space for downtown-oriented meetings.

The proposal was not a shoe-in for council members, some of whom had a different vote in mind until this afternoon.

"I wanted to vote against this at one point," said council member Daisy Lynum. "But as Mayor Dyer says, the need exceeds my disagreement."

Developers are hopeful the large space and hotel would generate more foot traffic after hours in the downtown sector.

The Orlando Police Department would be relocated.

While the new building is constructed with money generated by the sale of this land, the police department would still be housed in its current building, paying a below-market lease to the Magic.

"We thank City Council and all of the City staff that we negotiated with on this very complex agreement, but today is really just the first step," Magic CEO Alex Martins said. "It's going to be a great opportunity for downtown and for the redevelopment of Parramore. We believe now through our estimates that the development could be a $200 million investment into downtown. It going to create hundreds, if not a thousand jobs overall, when you include the people who will be working in the facilities and constructing the facilities. So we're really confident that this is going to be a great investment for downtown."

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