Originally Posted By skinnerbox Let the theme park & resort speculation begin! <a target="blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/brinkmann-on-business/os-universal-orlando-purchase-20151223-post.html">http://www.orlandosentinel.com...ost.html</a> <> A company affiliated with Universal Theme Parks has closed on the purchase of 450-plus acres near the Orange County Convention Center, sources confirmed. The purchase would pave the way for possible expansion of Universal’s theme park empire in Orlando. The property was transferred through a simple quit claim deed on Dec. 18 to an obscure Delaware company. “It’s Universal, it’s a done deal, they’ve closed on it,” said Robert Cooke, a Miami attorney who represented the seller, California-based Colony Capital, in recent court cases. Universal’s media spokesman in Orlando, Tom Schroder, said the company would not be commenting in response to questions Wednesday. Universal has declined repeatedly to comment on their interest in the property. A source with knowledge of the deal said he doesn’t believe there’s a timeline for development yet. “My feeling is, it’s a lot of land, and my guess is, it will be phased in, and they will figure it out after the holiday break,” said the source, who commented on the condition of anonymity. The property includes the largest tracts of vacant land in Orlando’s International Drive tourism corridor, and is already loaded with entitlements allowing thousands of hotel rooms, residential units and – on one portion -- a theme-park style attraction. A previous Universal company, Universal Vivendi, had once owned the property. It was originally acquired from defense contractor Lockheed Martin in 1998, and was part of Lockheed’s Sand Lake Road complex. Later a team of developers acquired it, including Georgia businessman Stan Thomas, with certain restrictions on what they could build. But the entire acreage fell into foreclosure during the Great Recession. Colony acquired the property through a foreclosure on Nov. 18 this year. A principal with Colony, Paul Fuhrman, had promised that it would be marketed globally, but Colony stopped talking about it after multiple sources said Universal had a contract on it. <> More at the link.