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ORLANDO-Eager to craft a new Downtown business image, elected city officials are studying a proposed landscape by San Francisco-based EDAW Inc. that would comprise a 140,000-sf Expo Center for small regional conventions; a 300-room hotel; a 2,147-space parking garage addition; and a public recreation center, all near the existing TD Waterhouse Centre.

The only element missing from the plan is funding. City and EDAW officials couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publcation deadline to learn an estimated cost of the enterprise.

But private local land planners, not associated with the EDAW proposal, tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity the undertaking couldn’t be done today or even in the next five years for less than $100 million.

Private planners tell GlobeSt.com they base their estimate on a hard construction cost of $21 million for the Expo Center at $150 per sf; $30 million for the hotel at $100,000 per room; $22 million for the parking garage addition at $10,000 per space; and $3 million for the recreation center.

Other undetermined costs would be the demolition of the existing 65,000-sf, 65-year-old Expo Center; tearing down of the existing recreation center at Livingston Street and Parramore Avenue; and erecting an undetermined amount of retail along Parramore Avenue.

The city was given a $15 million estimated construction cost ($107 per sf) in 1998 for a new Expo Center, but construction materials and labor have increased since then, local planners tell GlobeSt.com.

City planners estimate a funding strategy will take two years to form.

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