There's a chance the Orlando Museum of Art may soon be on the move to Lake Nona, thanks to one of the world's largest private art collectors.
The Orlando Business Journal
reports that billionaire Joe Lewis, the investor in Lake Nona developer the Tavistock Group, has proposed a potential $10 million investment into a new OMA. That is, if the nonprofit can fork over an additional $30 million in fundraising for a pricey $40 million building in Lake Nona. Total amounts for the development weren't noted.
"We are exploring the viability of bringing a world-class, iconic museum of art that a city like Orlando … deserves," Glen Gentele, director and CEO of the OMA, says in a statement. "For nearly three years, at OMA's request, Tavistock has graciously worked with us to help identify a new location for the museum. An exhaustive search entailed reviewing more than 20 sites within the city of Orlando. Unfortunately, no viable sites resulted, and the project had come to a standstill."
That's when OMA approached Tavistock about the idea of possibility relocating within Lake Nona, the statement says.
"After exploring a number of locations, the possibility of situating the museum proximate to the airport with great access and visibility, with plenty of room to grow, is intriguing," Gentele says.
We've reached out to Tavistock for comment.
The OMA's current building, which was built in 1974, is located on North Mills Avenue in Loch Haven Park.
In 2015, during a press conference with Gentele and OMA's Strategic Planning Committee chairman Ted Brown, it was noted that the Loch Haven Park location was "not viewed as the ideal location" for OMA's future.
Research revealed at the conference showed that OMA was seeking space in Orlando's "urban core" – in other words, the downtown area – to better suit the city's more than 72 million annual visitors.
"All great cities have great art museums and we are working in that direction. But relationally, what is around the museum is important," Gentele said at the time.
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