Monday, October 30, 2017

Universal Orlando Buys More Land

Universal Studios Buys Another 101 Acres.

Universal Orlando has purchased another 101 acres for new theme park projects in Orlando, Florida, adding to the 475 acres it has already aquired.
Universal closed on the purchase for $27.5 million on Thursday, a source close to the deal said. The new acreage is along Sand Lake Road, giving Universal a new major road frontage for its expansions. 
The land is adjacent to the $130 million purchase Universal made in December 2015, north of Universal Boulevard and west of Destination Parkway. The latest acquisition gives Universal more than 570 acres to work with for expansions, which is multiple times larger than the property it currently owns and operates. -Orlando Sentinal
It will be nice to see what Universal has planned for such a large amount of space. With many classic attractions already taken down and replaced, it would be nice to see them start to begin a new park and save the classic attractions that they have left. I'll forever miss Jaws, Twister, and Terminator, but it's always good to see more to come. I'm sure most would agree that losing Back to the Future & Twister for their current replacements was a terrible decision.  Continue reading the important bits of the article below.
Universal can be seen at the top left, with the owned expansion land North of the red pin. (The newly acquired land is located at the most northern end of that clearing, just south of 482.) This map shows you just how big the area really is that they now own, with all of current Universal Orlando Resort easily fitting inside. The one thing that Disney will always have Universal beat at is the amount of land available with proximity to their current parks. 
There's been a lot of speculation about what kind of new attractions Universal is planning, but Universal hasn’t provided any detail for the properties. Comcast execs say they have a lot of ideas on how to use the land although no firm plans.
There's also litigation regarding the future of the 475 acres purchased in 2015 -- a lawsuit attempting to block any new theme parks on the property. Georgia developer Stan Thomas is behind the suit in Orange County Circuit Court. He’s the man who once controlled the properties in the so-called Sand Lake Road Complex just south of Lockheed Martin’s plant. Under Thomas’ control, the property was green-lighted with entitlements for thousands of hotel rooms, mixed-use development and tourism attractions. After the Great Recession, Thomas’s company had lost much of the land in a foreclosure.
Universal recently filed a plan with Orange County to get approvals for 2,451 "overflow" parking spaces on vacant land it owns along Destination Parkway near Orange County Convention Center. Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder said the company has nothing further to say about the parking spaces at this point.-Orlando Sentinal

Ah, land of the lawsuits, the USA.