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Orlando's long-sought performing-arts center moves closer to reality

Elizabeth Maupin | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted August 17, 2005

After months of near-silence, plans for the Orlando Performing Arts Center are again in the public eye.

Four major real-estate companies are in the running to develop the financing, design and construction of a performing-arts center in downtown Orlando.

One of those four developers -- KUD International, Hines, Carter and Trammell Crow Co. -- will be chosen Sept. 1 to partner with the not-for-profit Orlando Performing Arts Center governing board to plan, build and even program and operate the proposed complex. KUD already is developing a new convocation center and related facilities at the University of Central Florida.

The choice of a developer is one of the first tangible steps toward building a long-discussed downtown home for Orlando's philharmonic orchestra, opera, ballet and other arts groups, as well as facilities for UCF's performing-arts programs. Offices, shops, restaurants, parking facilities, a public plaza and a hotel also

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/...-home-headlines

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County, city look to bundle civic projects

The idea is to create a one-stop destination, instead of competing projects.

From the August 19, 2005 print edition

Link to Orlando Business Journal Article

Summary

Orange County Commissioner (aka "Mayor) Richard Crotty is proposing that the county and the City of Orlando team up to combine several of the major public works projects to create a more marketable package. Some of the key projects involved would be the $75 million renovation of the TD Waterhouse Centre, $140 million renovation of the Citrus Bowl, $250 million proposed Performing Arts Center, and $6 million UCF Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy. Crotty explains that by keeping these projects as separate proposals, they have a greater chance of being rejected by decision-makers who can nit-pick about each little detail. By bundling the projects and selling them as a $471+ million package, it's possible that this "one-stop destination" may receive more public support and funding than the separate parts would on their own.

Mayor Dyer seems to be in accordance, as it would help to fulfull his vision of creating a "digital media village" around the Centroplex. Officials with the Orlando Magic and Florida Citrus Sports seem to be onboard too, since this could only help their chances of receiving makeovers for their stadiums. One of the Orlando PAC's frontrunners for development, KUD International LLC, prefers the Centroplex site for the new PAC because it would be larger and have more potential for creating a "larger arts village."

There is still a lot of work to be done regarding this proposal, but at least the city and the county are working together to try and make these ambitious projects happen.

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Trammel Crow Co. of Dallas has pulled itself out of the race to become the developer of the Orlando Peforming Arts Center. The firm was ranked last in the OPAC scoring system and was considered to be a long-shot underdog. The three remaining competitors will present their proposals to an OPAC executive committee on the same day, which will then announce its decision on Thursday, September 1.

Link to Orlando Business Journal

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"But a key hotel leader praised Crotty on Friday after reading a copy of the letter, saying he was pleased that raising hotel taxes was off the table for now."

Surprised it wasn't Rosen.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Who runs this county anyway? Why is he called hotel leader? What is he leading and who made him a leader? I don't recall the positiobn of hotel leader being on the last ballot.

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Who runs this county anyway?  Why is he called hotel leader?  What is he leading and who made him a leader?  I don't recall the positiobn of hotel leader being on the last ballot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A bit literal don't you think. Just a stretch here, but maybe they were talking about the leader of a hotel corp. Or a large hotel corpations position in general.

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A bit literal don't you think.  Just a stretch here, but maybe they were talking about the leader of a hotel corp.  Or a large hotel corpations position in general.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm sure they were talking about the leader of a hotel group. So yes I meant it litterally. They control significant power with regard to our county government. and how the tourist tax gets spent, and if they are dead set against raising the tourist tax, Orange Crotty gov't probably won't provoke them. I suspect that the comment saying they were glad that Crotty didn't suggest an an increase in the tax was a warning shot accross Crotty's bow.

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^^This could potentially be a really good thing.

If a new city PAC is built across from city hall, UCF could be "given" the Bob Carr (much like they were given the Centroplex directly across from Bob Carr) and this could be used to house UCF gradudate music and performing arts programs - with some refurbishment of course.

In effect, this would create a UCF graduate campus west of I-4 and the we would still get a new PAC - a win, win situation.

I hope the OC/Orlando/UCF staff at least consider this.

Edited by tm68

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Backers of arts center think big on design

Mark Schlueb | Sentinel Staff Writer

Posted October 21, 2005

Backers of the Orlando Performing Arts Center are aiming high when it comes to finding an architect for the facility, which so far exists only on paper.

Link to Orlando Sentinel Article

Good news...we might get a performing arts center without a BBArch visor. Shocking, I know...

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Of these architects, I really like Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, especially if they are looking for architects who can blend in (their Holocaust museum is a great example). Other than that, I'd go with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill since they already have experience in Orlando.

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I agree. they need something that's way different. Screw SOM, the Suntrust Center sucks-- aqua colored steel beams?

Now, if SOM wants to design a mini Hancock, then lets talk.

No more Florida-looking crap buildings. They need to think Miami-ish, ala their PAC, for example. The downside is that this thing will be landlocked with development, unless they agree not to build on its south face, then you could see it from 408.

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