By FRANCO PANIZO
Orlando City need to secure one final piece of land to begin construction on their downtown soccer-specific stadium, but they will likely need the city of Orlando to go the route of eminent domain to do so.
According to a report from MyFoxOrlando.com, the city of Orlando’s negotiations with a church over the last piece of property that MLS-bound Orlando City need to build its stadium have broken down.
The Faith Deliverance Temple initially requested $35 million for the plot of land that is valued at $690,000, but it was offered only $1.5 million by the city. There was still reportedly hope that a deal could be worked out, but the Faith Deliverance Temple has gone back to wanting $35 million, leaving the city with little recourse as to what to do next.
“We have not filed eminent domain, but I do anticipate we will move forward with that,” said Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer.
The city is reportedly willing to go higher on its $1.5 million offer to reach a deal. But an eminent domain hearing seems like the path the city will have to take in the near future in order to obtain that piece of land for the Lions.
“We are going to leave that door open, but we’re going to have to go ahead and continue or pursue opportunities to have the court determine what the value of the property is,” said Dyer.
In a case of eminent domain, a judge would first need to decide if the city could take the land. If the judge rules in the city’s favor, he or she would then decide the value of the land and the church would be required to accept it.
Orlando City will play at a renovated Florida Citrus Bowl during their inaugural MLS season next year. The Lions were initially hoping to begin playing at their soccer-specific stadium at the midpoint of the 2015 season, but they have pushed back the opening date to 2016.
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