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Orlando Magic to break ground in 2024 on Sports + Entertainment District

The Orlando Magic announced development partners Monday for its long-planned $500 million Sports + Entertainment District across from the Amway Center. World-class developers JMA Ventures, LLC and Machete Group, Inc. have been appointed to spearhead the project alongside SED Development, LLC and the Orlando Magic.

The details were first reported by Sports Business Journal, which quoted Magic CEO Alex Martins describing the mixed-use complex as a much needed “shot in the arm” for downtown Orlando and critical to the team’s success. The article cites an anticipated start date “before the end of 2024” though there was no timeline in the release the development team issued Monday afternoon.

“JMA Ventures and Machete Group are simply the best of the best. We are thrilled to have them take the reins and guide the sports and entertainment district into something Orlando will be proud to have in the heart of downtown,” Martins said in the release.

The project is anticipated to include a 260-room full-service hotel with 16,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, 270 residential units, 200,000 square feet of Class A office space, 125,000 square feet of retail, a 3,500-capacity live event venue, an urban town square, and more than 1,100 parking spaces. With the exception of the live event venue — which was not included in the original plan — this would be a more scaled-down version of the district than what was approved in 2020.

In that plan, the S+E District concept for a multi-phased project that would have included a 23-story apartment tower, a separate 300-room hotel tower with 80,000 square feet of meeting space, 110,000 square feet of retail and a 420,000-square-foot office building, which would house the team’s permanent offices. That plan also included a 2,500-space parking garage that would have been built around a pedestrian plaza that stretches diagonally across the length of the property.

The size of the office tower more closely aligns with the Magic’s original concept from 2018. In 2019 they expanded the office tower to 400,000 square feet, then COVID-19 hit, forcing the development team to rethink the master plan. The basketball team had carved out 40,000 square feet for its permanent offices, but with construction on hold, the Magic moved its offices from Maitland to downtown Orlando in 2021. The Magic leased a floor in downtown’s CNL Building II next to City Hall and renovated the 23,000-square-foot space to house more than 200 employees.

In the latest renderings, the parking garage appears to be a separate structure at the north end of the property, and the hotel and apartments appear to be combined into a single tower.

JMA Ventures is a full-service commercial real estate development and investment firm with a portfolio of hospitality, resort, residential, retail, office, and commercial projects. Notably, JMA Ventures developed Downtown Commons, a 1,000,000-square-foot mixed-use development adjacent to Golden 1 Center, home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Downtown Commons revitalized downtown Sacramento and is widely regarded as one of the most successful arena- or stadium-adjacent mixed-use projects in the country.

“Central Florida is a fantastic market for this type of mixed-use development, and this project will further energize downtown Orlando. We look forward to working with the Orlando community to bring the sports and entertainment district to life,” said Todd Chapman, CEO of JMA Ventures.

Machete Group has an extensive background in sports and entertainment venue development. The firm’s projects include Amway Center, Chase Center and the adjacent Thrive City mixed-use district in San Francisco, and TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.

“As downtown Orlando continues its dynamic growth, we are excited to bring the sports and entertainment district to life,” said David Carlock, founder and principal of Machete Group. “We would like to thank the DeVos family for the opportunity to work on this project together.”

Sports and entertainment districts have fared well post-pandemic compared to other central business districts. The Battery in Atlanta broke attendance and sales records thanks, in part, to the Braves’ World Series run in 2021. In Tampa, the $3.5 billion Water Street district, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena, is getting a new Ritz Carlton Residences tower and becoming one of the fastest-growing tech districts in the U.S.

Source: By Laura Kinsler 


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