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Exclusive: Construction tees up for $25M Lake Nona golf attraction

It’s official: ’s & Performance District is adding a new golf and entertainment element to the mix.

Franklin, Tenn.-based The Parkes Cos. last week was issued a permit valued at $10 million to begin work on Drive Shack, the new complex at 7675 Lake Nona Blvd., according to city of documents.

The project includes a three-story, 57,000-square-foot driving range entertainment facility that includes a restaurant, lounge, bar, hitting bays and meeting spaces, according to Orange County permitting documents. It will be built on a 15-acre site on the northwest quadrant of State Road 417 and Lake Nona Boulevard, as previously reported by Orlando Business Journal. It will be similar to Topgolf, which plans to open an Orlando site on International Drive this fall.

A project manager at The Parkes Cos. wasn’t available for comment and it appears Drive Shack Orlando’s Facebook page hasn’t been updated since September, as of the morning of May 22.

However, New York-based Drive Shack Inc. (NYSE: DS) is a new global golf entertainment company as announced last November by New York-based real estate investment trust Newcastle Investment Corp., which is managed by an affiliate of real estate firm Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG).

The Lake Nona site is the parent company’s first Drive Shack location and another one is in the works, Drive Shack CEO and President Sarah Watterson said during the company’s May 5 first-quarter earnings call. Here’s more on what Watterson had to say about the project during that call:

“On the entertainment golf business, we continue to be very excited and make strides in developing our global network of Drive Shack venues. In Orlando, we’re in the midst of constructing our first venue, with the goal being open in first-quarter 2018. We’re also very excited to announce that our second Drive Shack venue will be developed in Richmond, Va. … Our venues feature multiple stories of hitting suites, whether friends, family, coworkers or complete strangers are able to compete in various technologically-enhanced golf games while using TaylorMade clubs. Consumers who are seeking a good time, but maybe not looking to participate in the game, are able to enjoy food and beverage options from one of our many entertainment, restaurant or lounge areas.”

Each Drive Shack site is expected to cost $15 million-$25 million to build, and would generate about $3 million-$6 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a December 2016 investor presentation showed.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Populous is the project architect; Walter P. Moore is the structural engineer; ME Engineers is handling mechanical, electrical and plumbing; and Howe Engineers is the code engineer.

Meanwhile, Drive Shack in Lake Nona is the next piece of the 300-acre Sports & Performance District, which boasts the now operating $100 million U.S. Tennis Association National Campus; the soon-to-debut $1.4 million USTA Florida headquarters and U.S. Professional Tennis Association complex; and the $20 million Orlando City Soccer Club training facility.

Elsewhere in Lake Nona, global audit giant KPMG LLP is hosting a May 22 groundbreaking on its new $430 million Lake Nona training center and Lake Nona developer Tavistock Development Co. LLC expects big things for the next $300 million phase of its Lake Nona Town Center.

New Lake Nona office building in the works

Steps are being taken to build a new office building in Lake Nona’s growing Town Center.

Building No. 2. include four-story, 100,000-square-foot

Tavistock Development Co. LLC’s entity, Lake Nona Land Co. LLC, on Aug. 22 applied for an environmental resource permit that could allow site work to begin on a 11.3-acre project dubbed “Lake Nona South Town Center Phase 1, Office Building No. 2.” Plans include a four-story, 100,000-square-foot Class A office building.

The planned facility will be similar in size to the Town Center’s first Class A office building that houses Tavistock’s headquarters, Regus, Nemours Children’s Hospital administrative offices and Nurse on Call near Medical City. An existing parking garage will stand between the new office building and the current one.

The project will create new construction, vendor, leasing and job opportunities for local firms. However, it’s just a small portion of what’s in the works at the Lake Nona Town Center that’s slated to become a 3.8 million-square-foot lifestyle and entertainment center with restaurants, shops, hotels and more. A new restaurant called Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen will open there next month. See here for more on the Lake Nona Town Center plans.

The Lake Nona and Orlando International Airport area in second-quarter 2016 had more than 1 million square feet of office space with a 14.2 percent vacancy rate and a $27.49 average asking rent rate per square foot, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report.

Water Polo Lake Nona

Kensey Clinch of Lake Nona polo

Kensey Clinch, , Sr.

Notable: Clinch, of Lake Nona High School who was also the area player of the year as a junior, scored 102 goals and led the Lions to a record-setting 28-1 season. That capped a career in which she was a key player LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Kate Gynther of Australia is challenged by Giulia Enrica Emmolo of Italy during the Women's Water Polo Preliminary match between Italy and Australia on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Water Polo Arena on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)for four consecutive Lake Nona district title teams.

“She was a dominant all-around player and she was often triple-teamed,” said Lake Nona coach Alex Bennett. “Even in the state championship semifinal she was covered by three girls.”

Lake Nona http://WeKnowNona.com was 28-0 until it lost the final four game 8-3 to Miami Ransom Everglades, which went on to defeat Olympia to win the state championship.

“We were hoping to win the state championship this year, and that didn’t happen,” Clinch said. “But it’s much bigger than that is the way I look at it. Everything I accomplished, and the people I met and the relationships formed. … that’s all more of a win for me. It was a great season. I wouldn’t change it.”

Clinch signed with Mercyhurst University (Pa.), where she will play water polo alongside her older sister, Jena, for one season.