Orlando soccer stadium site shifted, eminent-domain proceedings dropped

New Orlando City FC stadium

An Orlando soccer stadium site for MLS’s Orlando City FC will be shifted a block east, allowing the city to drop eminent-domain proceedings against a church not willing to give up their building at the price offered by the city.

The city had acquired most of the land needed for a new Orlando soccer stadium site, but couldn’t reach an agreement with Faith Deliverance Temple on a price for the church building. Orlando had offered as much as $4 million for the property; the church at one point asked for $35 million — a price that would have totally busted the budget in the process. The city’s response was to begin eminent-domain proceedings.

But when owners of a neighboring property offered to sell their property, allowing the stadium site to be shifted, the city jumped at the chance to finalize an Orlando soccer stadium site without messy eminent-domain proceedings. From AP:

Andrew Prince Brigham, an attorney for Faith Deliverance Church, said the city’s decision was “an answer to prayer and victory for property rights.”

“The church made a decision that it was not going to be about the money,” Brigham told The Associated Press. “In defending their property rights, Faith Deliverance Temple told the city ‘No, you can’t take the property.’ At times it’s not all or nothing question. We found out the City of Orlando could move forward, but it had to be resourceful.”

BBIF is located where the Carver Theatre — which was demolished in 2005 — once stood in the predominantly African-American Parramore district.

The new Orlando City FC stadium is slated to open for the 2016 season, with the team entering MLS in 2015 and playing the season at a renovated Citrus Bowl.

RELATED STORIES: First look: New Orlando City stadium renderings, Orlando City FC in 2014, Louisville City FC in 2015, Orlando City unveils new MLS crest, Budget for new Orlando MLS stadium boosted by $30M, Orlando, church debate value of land needed for new MLS stadium

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