Lack of funds puts construction of Orlando’s Phillips Center in jeopardy

Posted on: November 24, 2010

In Tuesday’s (11/23) Orlando Sentinel, Mark Schlueb writes, “A construction team is poring over hundreds of bids from companies hoping to begin building the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, but there’s not enough money to finish even the first phase. The recession has already forced the construction of the long-sought downtown Orlando arts center to be carved into two phases, with two of three performance halls coming first. But officials with the nonprofit group leading the center’s construction said Monday they expect to fall short of the amount needed to complete those initial two halls. That will put pressure on the center’s benefactors—Orlando, Orange County, the state, and corporate and private donors—to come up [with] more money to cover the gap. Arts-center officials said they could be ready to start construction within a few months, but they don’t know whether work can start before the funding deficit is solved. … The center carries a total budget of $383 million. About $250 million in funding has been committed, with money coming from county tourist taxes, downtown Orlando property taxes, a state grant through the University of Central Florida and more than $80 million so far from private donors.”

Posted November 24, 2010