The road to the extraordinary Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, has been a long and productive one. AMS is proud to have been a close partner in the process, all along the way.
AMS first worked in Orlando in the 1990s, undertaking a comprehensive analysis of existing cultural activity, arts and cultural infrastructure and resources, arts impact, and programming potential in the Orlando area. At that time, the firm recommended that the community focus its investments in organizational capacity which led to the formation of United Arts of Central Florida, a community-wide arts funding agency.
In 2006, AMS was again invited to work with the community to explore the possibility of developing a new performing arts center to replace the aging Bob Carr Auditorium. Engaged by a new not-for-profit entity supported by the City of Orlando and Orange County, AMS was part of a team which developed and tested plans for a mixed-use development on a nine-acre site in the heart of downtown. Our work included market analysis, operating goals, organizational structure, programming and a business plan to guide the development and implementation of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Following a positive outcome, AMS worked alongside city and arts community leaders, the design team, and other stakeholders toward a comprehensive plan for the new center unveiled in 2008, including a 2700-seat Broadway house, a 1700-seat venue for classical works, and a 300-seat hall for smaller works.
The first phase of the project, a $387-million, 330,000-square-foot building including the Walt Disney Theater, Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, the School of Arts, and ancillary facilities opened on November 6, 2014. The second phase, which includes an acoustic theater is in progress. The total project cost is currently estimated at $514 million.