Tax boost for Kia Center development


New entertainment district KIA Center Image: Orlando Magic

Orlando City Council has approved a $40 million tax break for an entertainment, hotel, residential and retail development to be built next to the Kia Center in Florida.

The Orlando Sentinel said the council also signed off on a plan for the first phase of the $500 Million development plan and put $2.5 million towards it.

SED Development LLC, a company affiliated with the Orlando Magic, first got approval a decade ago for a slightly different plan for development around the Kia Center.

The 20,000-capacity Kia Center is an indoor arena located in Downtown Orlando, Florida (US). The arena is home to the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL and the Orlando Predators of the National Arena League (NAL).

The Kia Center hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star Game (a basketball exhibition game showcasing 24 of the league’s star players) and the 2015 ECHL All-Star Game (an exhibition ice hockey game in which many of the league’s star players play against each other).

It was announced last October that JMA Ventures, LLC and Machete Group, Inc. would be the development team for the new sports and entertainment district.

San Francisco (US)-based JMA Ventures is a full-service real estate investment firm serving as the Managing Partner of over $1.5 billion in existing projects spanning hospitality, leisure, residential developments, retail, office, and industrial/telecom.

The Machete Group is a management consulting and business services company in Houston, Texas (US). They provide advisory services for projects around the world, including: Venue development, transactional services, organizational strategy, and development management. The Machete Group’s clients include industry leaders in sports, entertainment and real estate.

The project, located at W. Church Street and S. Hughey Avenue will bring a hotel, 270 residential units, retail and office space, a 3,500-capacity live event venue, a festival plaza space, and more than 1,100 parking spaces.

All that — and possibly, in years to come, two additional residential towers –are planned for 8.43 acres on the now-vacant block across W. Church Street from the Kia Center.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said at the council meeting, “It’s pretty exciting to get this mixed-use development going and ensuring that we follow the work of turning our downtown into a true neighborhood.”

Commissioner Jim Gray said he understands concerns over $40 million in tax revenue.

But, he said, “I think this project could be one of the more transformative projects that we’ve seen in a long time downtown.”

The project has been in the works for 10 years and is a part of a plan to revitalize Parramore and downtown Orlando.

Supporters say it would be a major addition to downtown Orlando that would even change the skyline of the city.

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