At an event this morning the Dr. Phillips Center announced their plans for the CNL Arts Plaza.
They consider the plaza to be the center’s fourth theater.
“It’s what we like to call the living room of the city,” Dr. Phillips Center Chairman Jim Pugh told the crowd gathered at the construction site to see the new plaza plans.
The plaza is about the size of a football field and is one entire city block.
They estimate that they will be able to hold events for up to 3,000 people.
But Katherine Ramsberger President of Dr. Phillips Center told Bungalower that even when there aren’t performances there will be lots of activity.
“It can be as simple as someone reading a book or throwing a frisbee or of course 3,000 people enjoying a performance.”
For inspiration she says they used places like Bryant Park in New York City.
While the plans shown at today’s event include a fountain, the initial plan does not include one because the fountain will only happen if they are able to find a donor to support it.
The Dr. Phillips Center refused to provide Bungalower with the plans that were shown at the event today and only provided us with the renderings that had the fountain removed.
A spokesperson wrote in an e-mail, “the different features shown today are pending additional funds.” We were told this would be explained in a release which as of this afternoon had not been issued.
There are longer term plans for the plaza (which were not shown at the event) which call for hotel on the northern side and an office building on the southern side.
Ramsberger says that those buildings will also bring more activity. There will be restaurants and bars on the first floor “spilling out into the Plaza.”
Bungalower also learned that the fountain shown in the rendering may not be the final look for the fountain.
Because the Dr. Phillips Center is looking for a donor to pay for an Arts Fountain it’s possible that it might be more elaborate and could light up and dance to music.
CNL Financial Group donated $10 to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Plaza.
The plaza will host over 20 different performances over the first year. This includes the Florida Blue Concert Series, which will be a series of six free concerts.
The plaza design was created by Ustler Development, HKS Architects and Baker Barrios.
The City of Orlando is also looking to update the City Commons Plaza which is directly across the street to tie into the CNL Arts Plaza. That would allow them to close down Orange Ave if need be for an event.
Here are some photos from today’s event and the initial plan for the plaza: