Wednesday, February 24, 2021

As demolition begins, some plans for the former Orlando Sentinel property are revealed

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 12:30 AM

  • Photo courtesy Google Maps

Midtown Opportunities, the Miami developer and owner of the Orlando Sentinel's old downtown headquarters, has revealed some of their redevelopment plans for the former newspaper complex. 

Midtown is undertaking a nearly $75 million redevelopment project with the eventual end result being a mixed-use development — with office, hotel, retail and parking components all planned and currently in the design phase — as reported by the Orlando Business Journal.

Midtown purchased the Sentinel property back in 2016, and their leasing agreement with the Sentinel was set to expire in 2023. But the Sentinel's staff left the building last year, amidst an ongoing pandemic and a lawsuit filed by Midtown against the Sentinel's parent company — Tribune Publishing — for unpaid rent.

Since that time, permits were filed with the city and construction has started on the site, with some demolition visibly underway already.

In far worse Sentinel-related news, Tribune Publishing last week reached a buyout agreement with majority stakeholder and vulture-capitalist hedge fund, Alden Global Capital. With this deal, Tribune has essentially handed the keys for major newspapers like the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel over to Alden.

"When Alden comes in, it’s slash-and-burn time," said Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan. "Decisions are made not for long-term sustainability, not for service to the community, not for humane treatment of skilled and dedicated staff, but for next quarter’s profit-and-loss statement."

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