DeVos Family's Vision Coming to Fruition

Sports and entertainment development will be big boost for Orlando
by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO - When the DeVos family and Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins originally sat down with architects more than a decade ago to discuss how they wanted the Amway Center, now an award-winning venue, to look and feel, one particular feature from the renderings really intrigued them.

Even though it wasn’t something that would be added right away, the DeVos’ always kept the idea in their minds, and in their hearts. Now, nearly eight years since the opening of the Amway Center, the hope of delivering a downtown sports and entertainment complex to Central Floridians is on the verge of being built.

With a strong, everlasting belief that this development will boost Orlando and its neighboring communities in nearly every which way possible, the DeVos family, Martins and the entire Magic organization are beyond excited about what’s coming to their own backyard.

“From the day that the Amway Center was contemplated, the DeVos family made revitalizing downtown and the Parramore area a priority for themselves,” Martins said. “The very first time we met with our architects along with the city to design the Amway Center, the very first design had a development right across the street from the Amway Center. Both the DeVos family and the mayor were very motivated by that, very intrigued by that.”

“Their commitment to this, their investment in this, the DeVos family has shown that they are truly interested in ensuring that this portion of downtown in particular continues to improve and gets raised up,” Martins added.

With a class A office space, multi-family residences, a first-class hotel with meeting and event space, a multitude of dining options, and a vibrant central events plaza with the latest in WiFi, lighting, audio, and digital experiences, this innovative and all-inclusive project will have something for everyone.

The proposed office building, which will become the Orlando Magic’s headquarters, will feature approximately seven levels of office space, and a 3/1,000 SF parking ratio, while the tenant experience will include tomorrow’s tech in regard to renewable utilities, security, transportation, digital infrastructure, and health and wellness.

At some point in 2019 construction will begin, with the entire complex expected to be up and running two years from then.

The goal is to make this project a 365-day-a-year destination for locals and tourists alike, regardless of what events are taking place at the Amway Center or any of the other nearby venues.

In addition to being socio-economic growth catalysts for Parramore and the other surrounding areas, the Magic are ecstatic knowing they are going to help pump in countless job opportunities.

“There is no doubt this development will create jobs,” Martins said. “When you are talking about a 250-room hotel, when you are talking about 200,000 square feet of office space, that means people and businesses are going to be moving into this space. And then there is going to be all types of entertainment based retail, restaurants, perhaps a social bowling alley, all that will create jobs.”

The project now enters the phase of procuring tenants for the office and retail components of the project. As such, Foundry Commercial will assist in securing qualified marquee office tenants while JLL will assist in securing qualified marquee retail tenants for the project.

Other teams, such as the New England Patriots and L.A.’s downtown sports franchises, the Lakers, Clippers and Kings, have seen first-hand how an adjacent entertainment compound really helps. Now, the Magic expect similar results in their community, with perhaps even more amenities offered than the others currently operating around the country.

“The differentiator we think is the fact that we are really focusing on this being a smart development,” Martins said. “Really focused on technology, really focused on a holistic approach to living, working and playing. We’re going to be very focused on security, very focused on health and wellness amenities for the people who are going to be living here as well as the people who are going to be working in the office tower. It really is going to be focused on sustainability as well.”