Demolition of Building 44

Demolition of Building 44

While we’ve all been busy following the construction in the former Amity area of Universal Studios, new permits have been filed for the demolition of the long vacant Building 44 near the front of the park. The building initially housed the Murder She Wrote show, and later, the Hercules and Xena show. It has since sat empty, only briefly used for a haunted house in 2004. But it looks like it won’t be around much longer, thanks to some new permits filed this past week.

A demolition permit was filed with the City of Orlando on June 15th to: “demolish pre-cast 1 story building” “Universal Studios BLDG 44”.  A Notice of Commencement was also filed last week for “Demolition, New Foundations, Building Shell, Interior Build-Out”. The work is being carried out by Hensel Phelps, and by the sounds of the Notice of Commencement, they will be taking care of every step of the construction process, from the demolition to the construction of the new facility.

An interesting thing to note about the Notice of Commencement is that the contract is being carried out by Universal Creative. Typically, Universal Creative only handles contracts that deal with new attractions or large additions to the resort. Other improvements or additions have their contracts carried out by Universal Studios. For example, the demolition of the Old Hard Rock Cafe, the construction of Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses, and miscellaneous work, like the replacement of fire sprinklers, all have their contracts carried out by Universal Studios, not Universal Creative:

So what does this all mean? Well, since the demolition permit has already been approved and issued by the City of Orlando, and the building itself is surrounded by construction walls as of June 16th, I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire building was leveled within the next two weeks. This likely means that whatever they plan on replacing it with has a very aggressive construction schedule, and since the contract is being carried out by Universal Creative, I think it’s a pretty safe bet it’s some kind of new attraction, likely scheduled to open before the Harry Potter expansion.

Thanks to the measuring tool available on the Orange County Property Appraiser’s website, we know that 44 and its surrounding sidewalks occupy roughly 30,000 square feet of area. For the sake of comparison, the Despicable Me building is roughly 15,000 square feet, Shrek is roughly 22,000 square feet, and Cat in the Hat is roughly 32,000 square feet. We also can’t forget that the new Transformers ride at Universal Studios Hollywood made great use of space by utilizing a 2-story show building and an elevator system for its ride vehicles, so perhaps they could do something similar with this space?

Whatever the case may be, this is definitely an exciting time for Universal Studios Florida. The parks are getting more new additions than ever before, and the next few years look to be very exciting times. Be sure to leave you comments or speculation in the comment section below, or on our forums!

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    This entry was posted by PR Admin on Saturday, June 16th, 2012 at 3:12 pm and is filed under *, Rumors, Universal Orlando. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
    • Parkscopeblog
      • PRadmin

        I’m sorry, what exactly are you accusing us of? Stealing your story? I had not seen your article until you linked it above, and they’re not very similar at all. We’ve both written speculation pieces based on permits filed with public record websites, so of course there are going to be some things that are the same.

        Since you seem to follow our website so closely, posting your comment within 15 minutes of the article being published, you would know we’ve been searching and posting permits from the same public records sites since January. Your site has only been around since May. Did you expect us not to cover this story? And is there really a need for you to come troll our comment section and call us out on twitter just because you posted a story first? We all have day jobs here, and don’t have time to constantly scour the permit sites and update our blog with every tiny detail Universal files with the local governments.

        Again, we hadn’t seen your story. We don’t follow your blog. I’m sorry you feel like we’ve stolen from you, but at the end of the day, there’s no need for unnecessary drama. We’re just Theme Park blogs after all.

        • Parkscopeblog

          Sorry. It may have been a bit of an overreaction, but this is two stories in a row you put up that were “look what we found” 2 or 3 days after we had already reported it and spread it over different sites.

          No hard feelings.

          • Glstokes67

            Dude, they said they DO NOT look at your site. Public information can be obtained by anyone. If PRadmin said they DO NOT look at your site, then back off.

    • Tomsface

      I think Transformers is a more viable candidate for a replacement for Spider-Man down the road. WDI is clearly working on Marvel stuff right now, and just like Disney bought out the Marvel Studios contract from Paramount for Avengers/Iron Man 3, I think they’ll eventually get around to doing that with Marvel Super-Hero Island, too. Maybe now that Carsland is open, and Avengers is #3 worldwide in Box Office (behind Avatar and Titanic), they’ll be able to have that push. Not that it would happen overnight, but I could see it within about five years or so. Plus, I don’t expect that Transformers would be able to open before Harry Potter 2.0, especially being in the center of a working theme park.

      Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing a dark ride built here.

      Hopefully, whenever they’re done, they extend the New York facades to the side that faces the Mummy, and a nice LA/Los Angeles front to the Lagoon and Mel’s side. That transition always bothered me.

    • HHNLover

      why couldnt this be used as a house for HHN, like seriously with amity gone what are they gonna do now, SS44 seemed like a good place for a house

    • thatgirl

      didnt they file for building permits for this building for hhn with specific rooms being named? The building itself was structurally unsound, and they are probably just tearing it down to build a better one to put a house in.

    • Jay

      Universal Creative, because it’s an in-park structure that needs to be themed correctly.

      Beyond that, think about those “buildings” that are used only for HHN and storage that were put up a few years back. I think, that’s your most likely answer as to what this will be.

    • d3erudite

      Please let it be Transformers ! I can’t wait go ride this attraction ! Everyone ( including universal creative) had said transformers would not arrive while spiderman was still standing ,but i think the success in l.a and Singapore has convinced them otherwise . If they really wanted to get on my good side , they’d be demolishing woodpecker for DreamWorks land, replace twister with titanic , disaster for kong, beetlejuice for mission impossible stunt show, and fear factor for inception.

      • Brandon

        What you mean by replace twister with Titanic.

    • Kkkk

      they are removing donkey too

    • Addison

      As a brief member of the Universal Hollywood cast(scheduling conflicts), I was fortunate enough to be able to ride the new Transformers ride. It blew my mind. It’s a very similar style to Spiderman but it incorporates a lot of what “The Forbidden Journey” offers, except in 3D and the graphics are absolutely insane. I’m not a fan of the Transformers films and in fact I hate Michael Bay and everything he stands for as a filmmaker, but this franchise was meant to be a ride and Universal does it right! My guess is that they would turn this into the Transformers ride because of this exchange they seem to be doing, with Wizarding World coming to Hollywood along with Despicable Me. I also think that the “balloon test” they did might be some indication of them creating a second story to this building and “Transforming” it. This ride, along with the addition of Despicable Me would make this the go-to theme park in Orlando. As much as I love Disney, it’s going to get run over with these new additions. We’ll most likely not see the attendance numbers reflect that, however.

    • Michellegreen86

      I thought Universal filed a permit to build a house in Building 44?? Did they change their mind?

    • Themeparkluv

      They can put Ghostbusters Spooktacular in that Space