The Real Deal Miami

Zoning board resists 570-foot Orlando-area tower

Orange County commissioners will vote on the proposed SkyPlex project in December

October 17, 2015 02:00PM

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Rendering of proposed Skyplex tower.

Rendering of proposed Skyplex tower.

The Orange County planning and zoning board voted 4-3 against recommending a proposed 570-foot-tall tower and tourist attraction in the Orlando area.

The $460 million Skyplex retail and entertainment development still could go forward if approved by Orange County commissioners at their December meeting.

Skyplex would be an extreme sports resort.

The development would feature a 570-foot vertical roller coaster or “Polercoaster,” a 450-foot drop tower called Skyfall, a 600-foot zipline called SkyFly and a 350-room hotel.

The county planning and zoning board expressed concern about the height of SkyPlex and the presence of a glowing beacon at night.

The Federal Aviation Administration has said the height of the proposed tower would not pose a threat to air traffic, the International Business Times reported.

Universal Orlando Resort is pushing for a lower height for the SkyPlex development. Universal officials also have questioned whether SkyPlex is compatible with its location on International Drive because the road may lack adequate capacity for an influx of visitors.

The developer of SkyWalk, Joshua Wallack, said Universal is resisting the development due to “competitive issues.”

Wallack also told the Orlando Business Journal that he is “more confident than ever that we will leave the board of county commissioners meeting with our planned development approval.” [Orlando Business Journal] — Mike Seemuth