New York's Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Partners will create a master plan for the site, identifying possible retail, residential, and other uses for the area surrounding the center.
The announcement was the latest sign that the performing arts center, which has been discussed for decades, is likely to become a reality. It would house the Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Opera, Orlando Ballet, and other groups.
Barton Myers Associates has previously helped create the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey; the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, California; and the Portland Center for the Arts in Portland, Oregon.
Meanwhile, the Florida West Coast Symphony unveiled plans this week for its own 1,800-seat concert hall in Sarasota, the Bradenton Herald reports. The orchestra plans to break ground in 2008 and complete the hall in 2011. It will cost between $135 million and $150 million, of which the orchestra has raised about $25 million.