“We’re very excited to finally make this a reality and finally make this happen,” said Gerri Ferriera, the general manager of NBA City, the company constructing the new club.
Ferreira joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Venues Executive Director Allen Johnson for the ceremony marking the kick-off for construction for the restaurant that will be at 400 W. Church St. inside the Amway Center.
It’s another element adding to downtown Orlando’s appeal to residents and visitors alike, Johnson said, “making this a world class city with world class venues.”
It’s also going to assist in boosting downtown Orlando in the future, Dyer added.
“When I ran for mayor in 2003, one of the main tenets of my platform was a revitalized downtown,” Dyer said. “I’m very excited to be here today.”
The Club at NBA City restaurant will be located at the northwest corner of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Division Avenue, and is going to be modeled after the NBA City Orlando restaurant at Universal CityWalk.
The plans call for 4,160 square-feet of ground-floor space, including an outdoor patio on the plaza outside the arena.
When it opens in the fall, The Club at NBA City will serve lunch and dinner on event days.
“This represents the last retail space in Amway Center,” Johnson said.
Ferreira added that “The restaurant will be called NBA City Restaurant, while the lounge will simply be the Club at NBA City. As far as the opening day, we’re shooting for mid-October. The pressure is on.”
The restaurant will be built by Turner Construction, and Johnson said this project shows that downtown Orlando continues to appeal to private contractors who see it as a good place to do business.
“We continue the development of this side of downtown,” he said.
Ferreira gave credit to the city as well, for welcoming in this project and helping NBA City make it a reality.
“The city of Orlando has been wonderful,” she said.
Dyer said he was happy to support the project because “It will be the newest destination in downtown for good food and good times. With this club right on our front porch, it will be a destination in and of itself.”
The mayor added that he looks forward to the grand opening day.
“We do so many groundbreakings, and then it’s always fun when we do the ribbon cutting as well,” Dyer said. “So I look forward to the ribbon cutting as well.”
The Amway Center, which hosts major national events and concerts, opened in the fall of 2010 and is owned and operated by the City of Orlando. At 875,000 square feet, the new arena is nearly triple the size of the old Amway Arena — which had 367,000 square feet. The Amway Center was awarded 2012 Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal.
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