City grants extension on Orlando Magic's entertainment complex plans



ORLANDO, Fla. - It's been one year since the Orlando Magic proposed building a massive entertainment complex in the heart of Downtown Orlando.

The $100 million entertainment complex would be complete with a hotel, shops, restaurants and the team's office headquarters.

The complex would go up next to the Amway Center. But now that it's a year later, WFTV's Lori Brown asked what's taking so long to get to the next step and whether the delay has anything to do with Dwight Howard's departure.

Around this time last year, the city granted the Magic exclusive rights to purchase the property for one year. But now Magic President Alex Martins said the Magic needs more time.

Martins insists that the extension has nothing to do with Howard's departure, and the team remains enthusiastic about the project.

"We've hired retail consultants, hired hotel consultants. They've given us an appraisal of the marketplace and demand in downtown Orlando, and we've heard some exciting things," said Martins.

Twelve months into the agreement, plans for the entertainment complex seem just as far off.

There is still no appraisal. No one has met with the tenants of the site to figure out if they will stay or go, and Martins told Mayor Buddy Dyer in a letter that the Magic still needs to figure out if the project is financially feasible.

The Magic is offering the city $50,000 for a 120-day extension.

"They are paying us a premium not to sell it; no one else is asking to buy it. So I think it's probably a pretty good deal for us," said Orlando City Commissioner Robert Stuart.

Stuart said other interested buyers can still make an offer, despite the Magic's exclusive rights to purchase the land first.

City commissioners voted Monday afternoon to extend the Magic's purchase option until Jan. 31.

Single-game tickets for the beginning of the Magic's first regular season without Dwight Howard went on sale Monday. There are more than 20,000 seats priced at $50 or less, along with seven-game flex plans, starting at $70.