Universal Orlando has cleared a legal hurdle that stood in the way of its building another theme park... and it's picked up another big chunk of land for that potential expansion in the process.
The Orlando Business Journal reports that Universal has settled a lawsuit with Georgia developer Stan Thomas, which could have blocked Universal's plans to develop the more than 500 acres it owns near the Orange County Convention Center.
Thomas had claimed that private restrictions against theme park development on the property, placed back when Universal originally owned the land and sold it to Thomas, still remained in force.
Thomas lost some of the land in foreclosure in the early 2000s, but retained control of a considerable chunk of property in the area. However Universal and Thomas settled their dispute, it appears that Universal now has picked up another big chunk of Thomas' land.
Deeds filed today with Orange County show that Universal's SLRC Holdings bought several parcels, as well as usage rights, from Thomas and companies associated with him, the OBJ reported. That could give Universal approximately 1,000 acres of land to work with in the area — more than enough for a new theme park, as well as associated hotels, convention and retail facilities.
News about Universal's plans for future attractions in Orlando has slowed a bit as Universal was bogged down by the dispute over its legal rights to use its property. If Universal is going to build a fourth (or third, if you don't count Volcano Bay) theme park on the land, that affects Universal's decision on where to place new attractions based on Nintendo and Dreamworks Animation, for which Universal owns the U.S. theme park rights.
Do new attractions go into Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure... or into a potential new park? After all, if Universal is building an entire new park, it's going to need IP to fill it. With the legal dispute out of the way, Universal now has one fewer roadblock standing it its way as it looks to promote its vision for an expanded resort in Central Florida.Tweet
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