A lawsuit between Universal Orlando and the former landowner of property purchased by the theme park giant has come to an end, and it now appears that this conclusion involved Universal acquiring even more land from the same source. Deeds filed today show Universal Orlando not only adding to their previous acquisition’s surrounding area, but also acquiring full ownership and development rights, freeing them up for construction of entertainment attractions; or an entire theme park, which has been the subject of much speculation.
The origin of said speculation began after a major acquisition of 475 acres south of Sand Lake Road was purchased by Universal from SLRC Holdings LLC in 2015. After the purchase, owner of SLRC Stan Thomas filed a lawsuit against Universal, stating that he was still able to exercise a ban on theme parks as part of private deed restrictions. Universal themselves were involved in the initial theme park ban, attempting to limit competition well before they considered purchasing the property
This suit was finally settled on April 11th of this year. After yesterday’s conclusion, Universal has just purchased even more property from SLRC adjacent to the previously debated areas. Deeds showing the sale make it clear that Universal City Property Management now has exclusive rights to the properties in question.
Although this technically provides Universal with an opportunity to build a long-rumored new theme park on the land with a minimum of litigation, the company has made no official announcements about what will be constructed. During yesterday’s court hearing, Universal referenced the possible park plans saying they would be “obviously super, super secret commercial information.”
Since the initial 475-acre purchase, Universal acquired an additional 101.4 acres for development. They recently filed permits for mass grading and clearing/stockpiling to prepare the area for future projects.
Source/Image: Orlando Sentinel/Adelaide Chen (Newly acquired properties are in red, previous purchases are in blue, and green outlines signify current grading and clearing areas.)
Source: Orange County Comptroller