Never knew the name of the new apartments in Celebration on Celebration Blvd until today. It appears they’ll be called Evander Square Apartments.
Just a reminder that there is 11,150sf of prime movie theater space available for sublease in the heart of Celebration, should you happen to be looking.
It’s in-between Kilwin’s, a busy ice cream and candies shop, and The Columbia, a busy Spanish/Cuban restaurant. A lot of people here like movies, both first-run and classic, and would support you by buying your tickets and food.
There’s been a lot of lively discussion on the internal Celebration residents message board, with a lot of “how could they do this to us?” sentiment. I’m not happy the theater is leaving, but I won’t pretend that I’m surprised, either.
AMC, the movie theater company, is a business. Lexin Capital, who own the downtown buildings, is a business. These businesses will do what they feel is best for their shareholders, within the confines of whatever business partnerships and/or contracts they’ve signed. AMC is ultimately accountable to their shareholders. First and foremost, their shareholders want to earn a return on their investment. This is done by having revenues that exceed expenses across the enterprise. If a theater is proving to be a drag on the earnings, and there’s no other reason to keep it around (like prestige or good will), then they should be looking to close it. While this isn’t Government 101, it’s certainly Business 101. It may even be a better long-term decision for a company to break a contract and incur short-term pain (or judgments) if it nets a benefit in the long-term.
Does AMC have a responsibility to the community? No! With an interest in 5,000+ screens, why should they devote any time to trying to make two of them profitable? Put another way, consider this: say they’ve earmarked $500,000 for amenities upgrades in the Orlando market. Where should they invest that? Where are they likely to see a return on that investment, of course. Celebration? Where they can barely get enough people into the theater to fill a single row? Not likely.
What’s Lexin’s role in this? Same as AMC’s: to provide the highest possible return to their shareholders. There may be internal disagreements about how to accomplish this goal, but not about the goal itself. Plus, it gets a little murkier with Lexin, as some of its moves are strategic and may not have immediately obvious benefits, but the benefits are there. It’s more trickle-down with them. They sponsor an Oktoberfest concert that brings people into the downtown who provide revenue to merchants that enables those merchants to keep paying rent. Or fireworks. Or snowfalls and carolers.
In the end, who wants a shiny theater in their downtown that nobody ever goes to? How does that serve the community?
So now what? I truly believe an alternative, Enzian-style theater could be sustainable here. Previously the theater had to compete not just with the outstanding sister theater over at AMC Pleasure Island 24, but also with all the other entertainment options available in one of the busiest tourist areas in the world. But I do believe there’s a niche that could be filled.
As of this evening, there are 232 properties for sale here in Celebration, according to the Mid-Florida MLS. Here are some key statistics:
Eight properties are less than $100,000!
The least expensive single family home is a 3 bed/2ba single family home in Celebration’s North Village, offered at $219,000
There are 51 homes listed between $100,000 and $199,999
There are 45 homes listed between $200,000 and $299,999
There are 38 homes listed between $300,000 and $399,999
These prices represent excellent opportunity to live in the groundbreaking new urban community of Celebration, FL. Most of the homes are located within a 20 minute walk of the downtown area, a vibrant shopping district with unique shops and restaurants.
If you’re not ready to buy but are still interested in living here, there are 50 homes on the MLS available for rent, with rates ranging from cosy garage apartments to a $5800/mo 6 bed/5ba estate home with 5865 sqft.
Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like free, detailed information on what’s currently available.
For a few years in the early 2000′s, I lived in South Tampa and worked in central New Jersey (Somerset County). Monday mornings I woke up bright (well…) and early, hopped on a plane, and was to my cube in Raritan by lunchtime. On Fridays I’d head to Newark around lunchtime, catch the 2:50 to Tampa, and be back home in time for happy hour. Rinse, repeat. During the week I was staying in a rented room in Stewartsville, about 35 miles from work, which took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour each way. Point is, there was a lot of time spent in cars and planes. Enough time to know that I didn’t want to do it any more.
When presented with the opportunity to move to either Tampa or Orlando, there wasn’t much debate. We chose Celebration. Within a 25 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride, I can visit my choice of banks, grab a Starbucks coffee, drop the son off at the K-8 school, work on an MBA, drop off drycleaning, check my PO box, get a haircut, have pad thai or sushi, see a movie, or visit a friend at our hospital. And most Celebration residents live closer to the downtown than we do.
I’ve lived in Florida for 30+ years, cumulatively. This degree of walkability is not easy to come by. Yes, it’s factored into the real estate prices here in Celebration, but to some degree that investment has been recouped in the form of fewer fillups (and lower dependence on oil), lower auto insurance premiums, reduced chances of getting in an accident, and improved health through increased exercise.
And if it means I spend more time enjoying the outdoors with my family, then it’s priceless. Hopefully others will discover this, too.
Here’s an interesting item. It’s not strictly Celebration, per se, but has enough similarities with here that I’ll include it here anyway.
The Walt Disney Company announced today the start of pre-sales for Golden Oak. “a one-of-a-kind luxury residential resort community offering the unprecedented opportunity to purchase a home at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida” (from the press release).
It’s the “on property” aspect of this that I find most interesting. For those of you familiar with the layout of Walt Disney World property, this is just east of Fort Wilderness, so it’s really quite close to everything Disney.
I won’t recite the press release verbatim — you can read it here if you’d like — but the bullet points are:
Single family custom homes priced between $1.5 and $8 million
Fewer than 30 to start, with completion in 2011
Full ownership by means of deed
Eventual footprint of 980 acres, about half of which is conservation area
Residents will have access to amenities at a previously announced Four Seasons
Total build-out plan is for 450 homes
$25k refundable deposit in first-come order
As a resident of Celebration, another Walt Disney “Imagineered” community, I’ll be interested to follow the progress of this new development. What are your thoughts? Disney’s a smart company and has done its homework, but is there pent up demand for this kind of development? What problems might you foresee?
Guess who went from Celebration renter to Celebration owner yesterday morning?
Yep, we’ve moved! It was about the shortest move you can make — across a park, past some condos, and 4 houses — and yet, that didn’t make it all that much simpler. It seems whether you’re loading a dresser onto a truck to drive it 1 mile or to drive it 50, it ends up weighing about the same.
We’ve been blessed to find a house here in Celebration that we can afford AND meets our needs. Believe me, it wasn’t easy. We made our offer in late July, and it finally closed on Feb 8. We were lucky in that the previous owners treated the house with the care it deserves, so it was move-in ready. We were literally moving in our stuff within an hour of closing, no painting or deep-cleaning necessary.
Now begins the process of turning this house into a home. There are many boxes that stand in the way.
More delays on getting the house. Of course, it’s a short sale, so that’s to be expected, but still… this will push us up against the Christmas holidays for move-in time.
In the meantime, the real estate inventory here in Celebration seems to have cooled some with respect to available inventory. That’s good for home owners, less good for home buyers. Of course, I can’t back this up with data, it’s just that the ‘New Listing’ or ‘Price Reduced’ emails we get from our agent have tapered off somewhat. Could be seasonal, too. Only the fancy people with the MLS access know for sure.
On a positive note, at least we’ll be moving when it’s cooler out!
We added a new Celebration resident on Monday. Our little family of two grew by one when my wife delivered our son into this world on Monday, August 10, at Florida Hospital in Celebration. Both mommy and baby are happy and healthy!
I can’t say enough great things about Dr. David Marcantel and the fantastic staff there on the fourth floor in The Baby Place. The nurses there were very professional in their jobs, and knew exactly the right tone to strike during the emotional event of long labor, the birth itself, and the recovery. They were kind but authoritative, and, with the exception of one individual, never made us feel dumb when answering our first-time-parent questions.
So now you know why there haven’t been any updates lately!