Atlanta developer eyes Universal property

Posted Monday, October 6, 2003 5:17 AM | Contributed by Jeff

An Atlanta investor with plans to develop a large-scale tourist resort is close to closing an 1,800-acre land deal with Universal Orlando. Stan Thomas, president and owner of Thomas Enterprises Inc. of Atlanta, confirms he is in talks with Universal to buy the property: "We want to create a harmonious master plan for the property."

Read more from Orlando Business Journal.

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Monday, October 6, 2003 5:27 AM
So I'm a little confused - does this mean in a few months, Dueling Dragons will be a golf course? Or does this mean that there's surrounding land that's being sold?

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Brett
Resident Launch Whore

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Monday, October 6, 2003 5:28 AM
Jeff's avatar Certainly I'm not the only one who thinks that selling any property Universal has in Orlando insanely stupid, right? They're squeezed in there as it is.

I'm not as familiar with the property as I'd like to be, but is all of the land on the south side of Hollywood Way and west of Royal Pacific owned by Universal and vacant? Is that perhaps the the land in question?

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog
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Monday, October 6, 2003 5:49 AM
Getting that land in the first place was quite a long battle. I am surprised they are willing to give it up, even if they get a good price for it. Jeff, I think you are correct about the location of the land in question.
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Monday, October 6, 2003 5:54 AM
1800 acres? Where does Universal have 4 square miles of land in Orlando? They seem pretty squeezed. Obviously I have no ides where this land is.
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Monday, October 6, 2003 6:38 AM
The land is at the end of Kirkman road heading over I-4 and crossing I Drive. It is actually a few miles from the USF/IOA property, and between the two areas are a lot of other hotels, shops, etc. I am not sure how they would tie the two areas together like Disney does with the monorail. We'll just have to wait and see what happens with the NBC sale.

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Monday, October 6, 2003 6:39 AM
They are probably referring to the land on the former Lockheed site in Orlando. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that the land isn't adjacent to the existing Universal complex, but is across from it on I-Drive. The land is huge, and I'm pretty sure that it was going to be divided up for a few projects, not all Universal expansion. Some time ago, I saw a "masterplan" of sorts and downloaded it to my computer but I seemed to have lost it... I'm not sure of the link to that pic but its out there somewhere (please let us all know if you find it).

I guess this means that, instead of seeing a third Universal park, there would be a new park by yet another "player" in the Orlando market?

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 10/6/2003 10:46:18 AM ***

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Monday, October 6, 2003 9:58 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yes, this is the Lockheed land. I know what you're talking about, Rob. I've seen maps and "plans" somewhere in the past too.

This wouldn't be "competition" if the land was sold. The buyer wants to develop a hotel, golf course and "tourist attractions" - so don't expect another theme park player to move in. It's just someone looking to develop some prime Orlando real estate.

And like Jeff mentioned - it sounds like an incredibly stupid idea to sell.

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www.coasterimage.com
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Tuesday, October 7, 2003 8:46 AM
When I was down there for the WDW College Program I remember hearing that the land in question was contaminated as a result of Lockheeds former production. I heard that who ever wants to built on that land has to do some serious cleaning, maybe that's why they are trying to sell it.

On another note, the land surrounding that area has quite a bit of industrial/warehouses/office space springing up...

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=brandon=

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Tuesday, October 7, 2003 12:53 PM
I was under the impression that the land was being "cleaned up" as we speak, or has already been cleaned? I didn't think that Universal was responsible for that.

This seems silly to me... a case of them shooting themselves in the foot, really. With all that Universal invested in Orlando, you would think that they would want land so that they have expansion options in the future. This sale seems as though it would kill that idea.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Wednesday, October 8, 2003 8:17 AM
Just a follow up... click here to see how the Lockheed site is supposed to be developed.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Wednesday, October 8, 2003 9:49 AM
Jeff's avatar Wow... I didn't realize that was all Universal's land. Yeah, they'd be insanely stupid to sell that. I don't even know how they could consider it. And frankly, linking the two properties wouldn't be all that difficult from what I remember of the area. I seem to recall a bit of unoccupied retail space on Universal Blvd. too.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog
Blogs, photo albums - CampusFish
What time does the water show start?

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Wednesday, October 8, 2003 11:19 AM
Its hard to tell since the existing Universal property is cut off at the upper left corner of the map, but I am pretty sure that the land they are thinking of selling is quite a bit larger than what they currently have developed. They could use it for two or three new theme parks, or if they wanted to give Disney a good run for their money, use it for another theme park, a golf course or two and hotels, or do something really unique like a minor league ballpark. The possibilities are endless, and I'm shocked that they would give up the opportunity after all they have invested in Orlando.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Saturday, April 3, 2004 12:37 PM
They will not take down Dueling Dragons because the land they are sell is kinda behind the Jerrasic Park and the flying unicorn.
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