Universal Orlando Resort Expansion News (Part 2)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
19,748
Orlando, FL
This is part 2 of the proposed expansion to the Universal Orlando Resort.

To see the previous discussion, you can visit part 1 here.

Latest news shows plans with the site listed as 541.5 acres, including 5,089 provided parking spaces. Maximum allowed building height is 400 feet. There are 135.38 acres of open space required for the project, and the planned development will include 100.72 acres of asphalt area and 1.4 acres of sidewalks.

expansion.png

Developer Stan Thomas apparently loses title to property near Universal expansion - GrowthSpotter

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2018/10/29/breakinguniversal-orlando-i-drive-plans-lay-out.html?ana=twt
 

Griffin C

Newcomer
Jun 10, 2017
30
The project development plans show the work on a few lakes around the area

The expansion of a lake, or if a lake is going to remain, it will be in light blue. Any lake planned on being filled in is in red
 

Frank Drackman

Premium Member
Dec 20, 2012
2,174
SFL
Just catching up on pt I. Pretty sure it was over there folks were questioning asphalt over a parking garage. (and yes, this seems to confirm that). Anyway, I recall reading a few times that UoR was challenging the property appraisal's value on their parking garage. Seems the County (I believe) has nothing to compare UoR's garage to so it gets taxed as a large value property (I imagine it brings in big $$ along with a TAX paid on the sale of the parking ticket)....must be nice having a big theme park in the county!

But I do think UoR is smart to start off with a flat lot as to not over pay now for something that is not yet needed.

Oh yeah, anyone recall when Disney World opened in Orlando...you could fit multiple Disney Lands in the Orlando parking lot...
 

LintemuthStudios

Veteran Member
Nov 7, 2016
4,739
Fantastic Worlds
I'm starting to think that the Citywalk will not be connected to the dirt-lot. That would look and feel odd, especially when compared to its sister location on the North Property. The dirt lot will be for the theme park, and the theme park only.
 

nickwilde

Newcomer
Mar 27, 2016
28
But I do think UoR is smart to start off with a flat lot as to not over pay now for something that is not yet needed.

That's a great and interesting perspective. I also wonder how much their plans have changed over the past several years as a result of economic factors. It seems the tax cut gave them an incentive to build this thing quickly (still don't fully understand it but I read Comcast gets a credit if it's finished before 2022/2023?), but I wonder if the cost of corporate borrowing has gone up along with interest rates.

That may disincentivize a full-fledged all-at-once buildout on the second property (especially when coupled with the property tax dings from the county?)?
 

zg44

Member
Jun 5, 2017
943
That's a great and interesting perspective. I also wonder how much their plans have changed over the past several years as a result of economic factors. It seems the tax cut gave them an incentive to build this thing quickly (still don't fully understand it but I read Comcast gets a credit if it's finished before 2022/2023?), but I wonder if the cost of corporate borrowing has gone up along with interest rates.

That may disincentivize a full-fledged all-at-once buildout on the second property (especially when coupled with the property tax dings from the county?)?
An immediate full buildout was never really in the cards. Tax considerations are important for reducing overall costs and certainly worth taking advantage of in a reasonable time frame, but there was never going to be a full 2 theme park + 1 water park + 5 hotels built in 5 years kind of situation. [The tax credits are fully in place by 2023 before slowly phasing out through 2027, so anything built around 2023 gets max benefit then slightly less each year to 2027]


There's just no way to justify that kind of supply increase in a short time frame; it would require doubling the amount of visitors to UOR... I think we were always looking at a 10-15 year buildout here. That giant surface lot will eventually become expansion parcels for theme park/water park space, but it makes a ton of sense to build a surface lot for the first 5-10 years.


As others have mentioned, it's a waste to build the giant parking garages early: 1) maintenance costs, and 2) premature aging before they're fully in use. No real reason to build giant garages that would already be 10+ years old when the 2nd park is finally added...
 

s8film40

Veteran Member
Apr 18, 2013
3,458
I'm starting to think that the Citywalk will not be connected to the dirt-lot. That would look and feel odd, especially when compared to its sister location on the North Property. The dirt lot will be for the theme park, and the theme park only.
I'm pretty sure they're not going to build a "dirt-lot":lol:

Also everyone likes to assume they're going to build another CityWalk, but while CityWalk fit the need in the original property to me it feels like an afterthought and an example of poor planning. Given the space to do what they want it seems it would be more efficient to position their hotels in better locations and incorporate shopping and dining into them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alicia and Teebin

UniversalRBLX

Veteran Member
Nov 3, 2015
2,733
Cabana Bae
I've always thought the ideal CityWalk for the south resort would be a hotel taking up floors 2+ and the restaurants/shops taking the bottom floor. You save space/money and get extra revenue from hotel guests, and the hotel wouldn't need to have as many restaurants.
 

Happytycho

Rookie
Mar 1, 2017
490
It appears that the plans for both back of house areas were approved by the county development review committee this morning. I haven't specifically researched what the next steps are, but I imagine it involves drafting actual building plans, getting the county to sign off on them, and then beginning construction.
 

TheCodeMan95

Rookie
Jul 24, 2018
407
Are we thinking the 135.38 acres of open space will be JUST the theme park itself? Or park/CityWalk/hotel?
 

TheCodeMan95

Rookie
Jul 24, 2018
407
That's the 135 acres including the paved surface area.

Don't think that includes any theme park yet; probably just parking + CityWalk + a hotel? Theme park will be on that giant white space to the west of the 135 acres.
I'm so bad at deciphering this stuff. Lol.
 

ParkRumors

Rookie
Jan 1, 2012
225
"Open Space" is undeveloped land. The Universal Boulevard PD/I-Drive 2040 overlay defines the amount of open space required per acre of land, so the 135 acre number is the amount that's required to be left "open" on the 541.50 acres Universal is developing on.


EDIT: In case anyone want's to read about open spaces or has any additional confusion, here's the relevant info from the "Universal Boulevard PD" document and a link to the Orange County Land Development Code:



Orange County Land Development Code: Sec. 38-1234. - Open space
 
Last edited:

zg44

Member
Jun 5, 2017
943
Some news today:

Those apartments to the east of Topgolf and the West of the Universal lands (directly south of Lockheed Martin's site) are going to be built now that financing is secured on it:

Flournoy Partners secures financing for new Universal Boulevard apartments - GrowthSpotter


Ripley's which owns the land to the south of that apartment complex is building their new headquarters on other land in the area on John Young Parkway, which means they're definitely going to end up building some kind of entertainment complex on their acreage here.

Ripley Entertainment parent to build new 240,000-SF Orlando offices - GrowthSpotter


Old map of these if anyone wants to see. Those listed as UCPM III (in bankruptcy proceeding) are now in the holding of CPR Money LLC (which may sell them). SLRC = Universal land.

 

Happytycho

Rookie
Mar 1, 2017
490
Does anyone think it would be worth for me to go to the Kirkman Extension meeting at the convention center today? Or is it just going to be all the information that we know all ready.
I wouldn't expect them to be deliberately sharing any new and significant information at the meeting. The primary goal is probably just showing off the proposed plans that have already been discussed here.

I think it's a matter of whether or not there will be representatives there who can(or will) answer interesting questions. If so, you may be able to inquire about new information such as construction timing and schedule, funding process and sources, reasons for the dedicated transit lanes, and what the "future entrances" will lead to.

Unfortunately, there is no clear way to know in advance whether it will be worth it.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.