Image: Antunovich Associates, Courtesy Unicorp National Developments Merlin Entertainments Group, London, announced plans to bring the Orlando “Eye,” a 425-ft-tall Ferris wheel in Orlando, Fla., to the city’s proposed $130-million I-Walk Orlando entertainment center in the tourist corridor. Orlando Unicorp National Developments, based there, will develop I-Walk with its partner and wheel owner Circle Entertainment, New York City, says Unicorp owner Chuck Whittall. The project is scheduled to open in 2013. In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Circle Entertainment indicated the deal will close by Jan. 1. Unicorp says it has the necessary zoning for the project
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.