Orlando drops lawsuit, moves OCSC stadium site one block west

OrlandoCitySCStadiumRenderings2014 (OrlandoCitySC)

By DAN KARELL

Orlando City Soccer Club’s new stadium will be moving west, but the club and city cleared the final hurdle ahead of construction beginning in the fall.

Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer announced at a press conference on Monday morning that the city has decided to drop its action against a church that sits on the site of Orlando City’s original stadium footprint, and will move the stadium site one block west. The city had reportedly begun to go through the process of filing for eminent domain on the property after negotiations to buy the land from the church, Faith Deliverance Temple, broke down.

The decision allows the church to keep its land while also keeping the new stadium on pace to open in time for the start of the 2016 MLS season. Construction on the new stadium is expected to begin this fall. Orlando City will spend their inaugural MLS season at the Citrus Bowl.

Faith Deliverance Temple, which sits on Pine St. in between Church St. and W. Central Blvd., had been asking the city for a minimum of $35 million for the property. The church property was the final piece before construction could begin on the site, and the delays due to the negotiations forced Orlando City to push their stadium’s opening date back to 2016.

The city originally offered $1.5 million for the property, which is reportedly twice the appraised value, but the church hardly budged. The city raised its offer to $4 million but it wasn’t close to the church’s new asking price of $15 million, leading the city to look into filing an eminent domain claim.

However, by moving the stadium site slightly west, the church keeps its property, the city and club earn some good PR, and the stadium can still be completed as planned.

In June, Orlando City released new renderings of the reported $110 million stadium, which will include a roof over each of the four stands of seats and will have a capacity of 19,500. One of the drawbacks about the location however is that fans will need to park in lots a little further from the stadium.

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What do you think of this news? Glad to see Orlando decided to move the stadium site? Think that this the best decision for both parties? Excited to see construction begin this fall?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Orlando City. Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Orlando drops lawsuit, moves OCSC stadium site one block west

  1. JasonRBNY says:

    And on the 400th day, lo, the Lord said, “Screw this extortion, we’re not paying your church a dime.”

    • betamale says:

      Sad how people chastise this church for exercising its rights to ownership of private property and would cheer to see the govt forcibly steal their land from them.

      Sad times in the world these days when people demand for rights to be taken away from their fellow man.

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        Even sadder is that a church whose raison d’être is to care for the poor (isn’t that what Christianity is all about?) attempts to extort the taxpayer for tens of millions of dollars.

        This was always an iffy use of imminent domain, to be sure, but I don’t see how the church can be viewed sympathetically here.

        • Del Griffin says:

          Now it is extortion to value your property differently than the gov’t does?

          Now we are talking Comrade!

          • just saying says:

            i believe thats as close as extortion you can get. they could have easily said there is no price that can buy their place of worship. that is taking the moral ground not asking for 15 million. lol

            • Del Griffin says:

              When you try to buy something, one person sets a price and the other decides whether to pay it.

              One party in this dispute tried to use the law to take that property and make up their own price.

              How are so many people seeing that abuse of the law as OK?

              Extortion? You need to think about what happened here more.

              • bryan says:

                seriously man? $35M was not even CLOSE to the Fair Market Value. you should review that law because it is not as simple as you put it…and for good reason.

                while i agree it’s always best to avoid eminent domain, don’t act like they just “made up their price.” it was based on the real estate value whereas the church is the one who just pulled a number out of thin air.

                either way, the problem is solved. lets all move on.

              • just saying says:

                youre correct in the process of a business transaction. i am glad they kept their land and church. what im saying is that everyone is holding them to a higher ground because of their status as a church im simply criticizing their we have a value stance. thats all. i am glad that the local government did not overstep their boundaries however according to the law the local government has every right to apply eminent domain law after numerous attempts and offers whether we like it or not thats how it works. if this would have been a shop or a warehouse im sure they would have not up their offer as much as they did. the city and club took the high ground.

          • DysClaimer says:

            They weren’t just valuing it differently than the government – they were valuing it differently than EVERYONE. $35 million, and even $15 million, was way above market value.

            They have every right to refuse to sell, that’s fine. But they weren’t taking a principled stand against losing their building, they were simply trying to get the most money possible. And as a result they will get nothing.

            There are no good guys or bad guys here. It’s just business.

        • Eurosnob says:

          Perhaps you will be a bit more sympathetic, if one day government officials show up on your doorstep and tell you and your family to leave your house, because they want to build a big commercial project on your lot. Would you settle for the assessed value, which is generally lower than the market value or would you try to negotiate the best deal possible to compensate for inconvenience, moving expenses, etc?

      • Del Griffin says:

        Search the original threads on this subject. They read like Communist propaganda with all the tools ripping the church.

        • Kevin says:

          “Communist propoganda”? Oh please.

          Shouldn’t you be commenting on some politics-and-crazy people blog?

        • Paul says:

          What could be more socialist than the church, all churches, not paying Taxes or their pastor not paying taxes while i make it up for them? get off your high donkey.

        • lprevolution says:

          Church’s intention: “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.

          Unfortunately, now the church has neither.

      • Fast Eddie says:

        What you talking about! You are wrong on all counts.
        1. The Gvnmt did not steal, or even try to steal, the property. They offered more than 5X it’s value.
        2. Jason did not come close the chastising the Church for exercising their rights. On the other hand, he did somewhat ridicule the church of doing the extorting.
        3. Be happy, the church exercised its rights and won.

        • Andy in Atlanta says:

          @ Fast Eddie…. actually they excercised their rights and lost… they wanted to do what the church here in Atlanta did (who got over 15m)…. instead of taking the ridiculously awesome 4 million dollar offer that would have given them the ability to buy a bigger plot of land, build a much better building to house their worship…they held out too long because of greed and lost it all….

          trust me…they are not happy at all…BUT I SURE AM!!

          • RK says:

            And that church in Atlanta was much nicer and had a longer history than that shack in Orlando.

        • US100Ebook says:

          No matter the payoff, if you are forced to sell then it is theft. How about I pay you five times what your wedding album is worth on paper? No? Tough, fork it over.

      • just saying says:

        they are chastised because the “everyman has it price” should not apply to an institution whose values derive from the ideal that its supposed to provide a moral and spiritual headquarters for those seeking any type of refuge. lets not forget that the people that usually run a church pay themselves very well from the money the church goers pass every Sunday ritual and therefore can not be held in a high moral ground. i am glad for those who need this place for moral support of any kind that i was not displaced.

      • Louis Z says:

        Has the word “GREED” crossed your mind?

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I generally accept your property rights argument, except they crossed over into let’s make a deal mode, and asked for a lot of money. I applaud that this did not go into eminent domain, because it’s a church and I don’t think we should be in the business of moving property for stadia.

        I find it slightly amusing the deliverance church didn’t want to be delivered anywhere.

      • Eurosnob says:

        The government makes a smart decision, avoids legal proceedings, and saves the taxpayers’ money by simply moving a stadium location one block. The church gets to keep their property, where they worship, which is the best case scenario for everyone. It seems like a win-win situation for everyone. I am not sure why the folks complain about it.

        • Andy in Atlanta says:

          Again…the church actually did not get what they wanted…they bluffed far too long in the card game and came away with nothing… they wanted money for the land…just too much…. it was never about staying on the land…

      • They were offered more money than the property’s assessed value. I would hardly call that taking their property.

      • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper" says:

        No one is deriding the church over not wanting to move. The complaints about the church are due to their ludicrous counter of 35 Million. I have been critical of them for not accepting the 4 million counter which is six times (6x) the actual value of the lot. It is a shame that they would do such a thing “in the name of Jesus”.

        This is said from a pastor from a church in current eminent domain proceedings.

  2. just saying says:

    the power of christ compels you! lol. i dont know how the church will handle a bunch of loud, animated and sauced fans walking by their church, chanting, screaming in the thousands. lol

    • r.benjamin says:

      And knowing the church’s ridiculous counter offers resulted in said fans having to walk a few blocks.

      I wonder if the church feels gratified in continued ownership or regret they over played their hand..

      • Kejsare says:

        “I wonder if the church feels gratified in continued ownership or regret they over played their hand..”

        Church: “That’ll be $25 for a parking spot, sir”

        • JayAre says:

          Church: “That’ll be $25 for a parking spot, sir”

          Me: “Why don’t they tax you guys again?”

  3. Josh D says:

    A church trying to earn 70 times what the property is worth? I hope their charity baskets come back full next Sunday.

    Glad this was sorted without abusing government powers.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      Charity baskets…. they had the ultimate charity basket stuffer in an enveloped offer from the city for 4 million…. they balked, they lost… could have done a world of good for this downtrodden area by selling, buying new plot of land blocks away, built a nicer facility for worship and still had plenty left over to help the community….

    • Dru says:

      It would not have been an abuse of government powers. The government using the powers of eminent domain for the public good is specifically stated in the constitution and the supreme court has decided the public good includes using eminent domain to transfer property from one private property owner to another for the purpose of economic development. Now is it moral and ethical? Maybe not, but it sure as hell is legal.

  4. Pay says:

    Moving a church so you can build a stadium is about as low as American corporations can get.

    • Drew11 says:

      This “church” will be a gas station or strip mall in 5 years. Guaranteed.

      • Pay says:

        Nah. Probably a parking lot. It doesn’t really matter. It’s their land. They can do whatever they want with it.

        • Chad says:

          Whatever they want? Seriously? Does that include opening a strip mining operation? an oil well? detonating a dirty bomb? Property rights actually do have limits, thankfully.

        • OCLion says:

          there’s a reason eminent domain exists.

          Sometimes the public good is more important than an individuals property rights.

          Whether or not that was the case here is up for debate, but there are plenty of cases where eminent domain is used positively.

          • Eurosnob says:

            There is a difference between taking the land to build a public infrastructure project such as a highway or a school and taking the land from one private owner (a non-profit religious entity) and transferring it to another private owner (for profit corporation). Plus, because it is a church, the courts would have exercised more scrutiny over any eminent domain effort because of the Establishment Clause to the US Constitution. Anyhow, this is a moot point now, the government did the right thing here and should be commended.

      • ElDiablo says:

        This makes me mad. If I had the money I’d give it to them and turn it to a strip club.

    • Sean C says:

      Ah yes, but it is those same right-wingers claiming that “corporations are people” who attend these churches; let’s not lose sight of that. The church wanted far more of the taxpayers’ money than the land is worth, when they themselves already operate a tax-free business. I absolutely respect the church’s right to it’s own land — but you can’t blame Orlando City for trying to give a very good sum of money to them. They didn’t want it, Orlando City scooted over — so what’s the fuss?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      This was just business offers, the whole point is they moved rather than attempt eminent domain.

      I’ve seen the reverse happen, in fairness. When we opened Toyota Center, we handed Lakewood Church of TV fame an expensive basketball stadium for a fraction of the value. It evens out.

  5. J.D. Springer says:

    Watch the church turn around and charge fans $15-$20 to park on their property for matches.

    • beto says:

      of course!

    • Ian says:

      That’s actually a brilliant idea. Yay capitalism!

      • ben in el cajon says:

        And the church doesn’t pay property taxes. And it won’t pay sales taxes on its parking profits. Yay socialist support for Christians.

        • Frank says:

          Wouldn’t they need some sort of permit to do that? Also, since it’s unrelated to their mission they might have to pay taxes or they could lose their tax-exempt status.

          • JayAre says:

            That’s why this thing rubs me the wrong way. I’ve always been iffy of the way churches handle money. Believe it or not a lot of money is laundered through churches and I’ve never heard of a church losing their tax except status (please let me know if I’m wrong) it’s just a shaky ground that no one wants to step on. Just go through the comments and you’ll find that a lot of people feel the church was right only because it’s a “church”. Even the city of Orlando had to think twice. In Baltimore John Hopkins literally buys up the whole city the same way OCSC was trying to to and people usually except there offer (which mostly is reasonable). But think about it if the city was willing to pay $4M that means the property was probably worth between $3-6M give or take. But for the church to ask for $15M lets be real. That extortion on the part of the church that and this is something only a church can get away with.

            • bryan says:

              the property is worth just under $750k. first offer was $1.5M, the second was $4M. they asked for $35M and then $15M.

        • Joe Soccer says:

          Actually if a non-profit operates a profit making business like a parking lot they most certainly do pay taxes on the profits. Since a parking lot for soccer game goers is clearly not part of a church’s charitable mission any income from selling parking spaces would be taxed.

          • chuck says:

            What if what they ask for parking is a voluntary donation?

            • Joe Soccer says:

              The church can pretend it’s whatever they want. The IRS has rules about what is and what is not taxable for non-profits. And selling parking spaces to soccer fans would be taxable, no matter what the church calls it.

              It’s similar to when colleges, which are non-profits just like churches, sell tickets to sporting events and parking spaces to people who are attending sporting events the money they make on those things are taxable. Because sports do not support the mission of the non-profit, and neither does parking.

  6. karl Jr says:

    Good. No sense displacing a church to build a stadium no one will attend for games no one will watch.

  7. Path says:

    I guess they didn’t need the land after all. All this just so the fat ass fans wouldn’t have to walk a few extra blocks.
    I just don’t see how can you possibly justify taking the land.

    • Alex H says:

      +1. So the city found a solution by moving the stadium 1 block over where there were willing sellers. Maybe if they focused on finding people that wanted to sell rather than strong-arming people that didn’t want to sell they could have avoided the whole mess and would not have had to delay the stadium at all.

    • bryan says:

      this is my issue with this now. if all it took was moving one block, why wasn’t that the plan to begin with?!

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Maybe they’d optioned or bought every parcel but the one. Stadia usually take a few city blocks.

        If you then decide to move, you eat whatever the down payment was on the options, and have to do the same process a block over, maybe they bid you up too.

        I assume they thought the initial offers were overinflated gambits and would come down, they lined up everything else, and then the church never did drop towards their idea of reasonable. Someone misread the situation and when it started to veer towards eminent domaining a church and the need to name the subsequent stadium the Sith Temple as a result, they reasonably balked and moved to Plan B.

  8. beto says:

    sounds like the right thing to do.. regardless of if you agree with the church or not, they own the land and don’t have to sell, especially when the stadium could be one block over..

    Still looks like such as small plot of land for a stadium, even with the land the church owns, looking forward to seeing how this stadium works out.. should be nice and a great addition to MLS/US Soccer

  9. slowleftarm says:

    Good to hear this is final ready to happen, I think Orlando will do well in MLS. Hilarious too that the extortionists could have got $4m and instead won’t get a dime.

  10. Steven says:

    Great news, don’t need versions of the Mets or Brooklyn nets in this league.

  11. bryan says:

    good to see them get a deal done. even if the church were acting ridiculously greedy, they fought to keep their land and the city/team did the right thing to alter their plans.

    despite that, queue the people saying eminent domain = communism. i’d venture to guess most people couldn’t, without the help of Google, define the major differences between Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, Authoritarianism, Liberalism, Conservatism, etc.

    • Joe from Philly says:

      Based on some of the comments, I’d guess that your venture will be successful :)

      • bryan says:

        i’d be especially interested to see how people define Liberalism.

        • 407 says:

          Agreed, except it’d be fodder for days or weeks worth of nightmares. It’d make the people from that old Jay Leno bit (that “Man In the Street” thing where people indirectly revealed how unaware they are) look like some kind of Oxford debating society.

    • Drew11 says:

      Seems to be mostly libertopians strutting about on the ED issue. Low hanging fruit for those deep thinkers.

  12. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    This stadium looks kinda cheap, like San Jose’s. Why not make some nice stadium like the ones japan or China have for soccer. They are not that big and their design is very nice and most of them have a nice roof cover.
    As for dc, New England, Columbus, they need to fix their stadium issues ASAP. It’s so immature from those owners who don’t ant to open their wallet, while tfc is going to remodel their stadium before they get a new one and Miami and NYC might even get one before them.
    Then you have the expansion teams, Vegas, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Sacramento getting better support for a stadium than dc, ne, Columbus.

    • bryan says:

      yeah because DC United hasn’t been trying…

    • Frank says:

      Do you care to elaborate on the stadium issues that Columbus needs to fix?

    • JayAre says:

      Ok first of all we have very strict labor laws in the states. If we want to build wild and adventurous we need deep pockets! Then there’s also climate and culture

    • Kevin says:

      NASL TO EL PASO TX: “It’s so immature from those owners…”

      I’m having a hard time taking anyone seriously who would write such nonsense.

  13. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Also…all you people up in arms about eminent domain… bear in mind that the Church is not being asked to leave the city, merely leave the plot of land that the taxpayers were offering 8 times more than fair market value…they could easily have purchased a larger parcel of land, built a nicer place and really been a shining star in a community that is really hurting for something shiny and new…. go google street view the area…. tell me what you think that land is worth… and how much revitalization needs to be done…

  14. j says:

    Its cool- OC will buy land for about $500,000 in about 6 months and turn it into a parking lot.

    That land was never worth the price offered.

  15. Relegate this says:

    Because hey, any time you own a dump of land (just look at Google Earth) you have the right to get 20 times the land value. The city should of offered them a different deal–improve your property and make your church look nice or move the hell out.

  16. reignman says:

    It’s shocking to me that so many people are ok with a city potentially using eminent domain to get land for a stadium. The church has every right to ask whatever they want for the land, they are the current holders of it. They asked for an outrageous sum (which they’re allowed to do) and the city should have just moved on at that point, not tried to use eminent domain to get it. The use of eminent domain has become so warped it is sad, it’s original purpose is so far from what it’s being used for now.

    • Andy in Atlanta says:

      The church wanted the same deal Atlanta churches got…they played the game and lost everything…. the land was worth 450K…they got offered nearly 10 times that… they held out for more and lost it all…. everyone agrees eminent domain sucks when someone genuinely does not want to sell and just keep what makes them happy (their property) but this was a money grab and a laughable one at that…their loss….

  17. bryan says:

    for those saying it is Unconstitutional:

    “The Supreme Court has held that the federal government and each state has the power of eminent domain—the power to take private property for “public use”. The Takings Clause, the last clause of the Fifth Amendment, limits the power of eminent domain by requiring that “just compensation” be paid if private property is taken for public use. The just compensation provision of the Fifth Amendment did not originally apply directly to the states, but since Chicago, B. & Q. Railroad Co. v. Chicago (1897), federal courts have held that the Fourteenth Amendment extended the effects of that provision to the states.”

  18. Wanto says:

    That’s it? All they had to do was move it one block west? What a bunch of greedy ass fat cats. Why not just do that from the beginning instead of harrasing the church?
    Threre is a special section in hell for people like that.

    • Remy says:

      Harassing the church? The land was appraised at 750,000. They offered 4 million. The church wanted 15 million. There’s a special place in hell for those who commit one of these 7 sins as I understand it. Who was the greedy cat here?
      Lust
      Gluttony
      Greed
      Sloth
      Wrath
      Envy
      Pride

      • Andy in Atlanta says:

        +1000

        if the church actually cared about doing good…they would have taken the 4 million and helped tons of people in the area… after they bough new land and built a new place of worship… 4 million goes a long ways in crappy areas…

  19. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    SMH…