Universal Orlando’s purchase of 101 acres near the Orange County Convention Center could help the theme park stretch its reach.

Universal paid $27.5 million for the property, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

The land is next to 475 acres the theme park also plans to use for expansion.

The purchase gives Universal nearly 600 acres for growth, which is more than double the property the theme park already owns including Universal StudiosIslands of Adventure and Volcano Bay. The latest acquisition stretches from the Beachline Expressway north to Sand Lake Road, which is near but not next to Universal Orlando.

In comparison, Walt Disney World covers 27,000 acres.

Universal has released no plans for the property.

A lawsuit was filed in 2015 to block a new theme park on the 475-acre parcel. Georgia developer Stan Thomas filed the suit in Orange County Circuit Court. The suit claims that private restrictions against theme park development on the property placed when Universal originally owned the land and sold it to Thomas still remain in force. Thomas’ company lost the land in foreclosure in the 2000s.

 

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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