Orlando Seeks Eminent Domain For MLS Venue Site, While Magic's Project Approved
The city of Orlando "after a year of failed talks" has filed suit in court to force a family-owned church to "sell its land to make way" for Orlando City SC's new MLS stadium, according to Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. If successful, the eminent domain action filed Thursday in Orange Circuit Court "would allow Orlando to take the last of 20 parcels needed" for the $115M stadium being built for the MLS expansion club. Newly released records show that the city "more than doubled its initial offer" for the Faith Deliverance Temple to $4M. Members of the family that owns the church "reduced their initial selling price" from $35M to $15M. Of the 19 properties Orlando "has already acquired, 17 were from willing sellers." The other two "were taken through eminent domain actions." The same judge assigned to Faith Deliverance Temple's case "sided with the city in those earlier two cases" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/21).
IT'S MAGIC! Schlueb also reports the Magic yesterday "won preliminary approval for the first phase" of its $200M sports-and-entertainment complex. The first phase of the project "includes a six-story office building where the team would move its corporate headquarters, shopping and dining, a parking garage and a festival plaza." It "won unanimous approval from the Municipal Planning Board, despite some concern about the size and number of giant video screens that would adorn the exterior of some buildings" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/21).