The Mistake by the Lake - Will the Majesty Building Ever Be Completed? Published November 07, 2008 by Megan Fletcher
There is an 18-story elephant in Altamonte Springs that city officials do not want to talk about. This 18-story elephant is officially called the Majesty Building, and the CEO of the SuperChannel dubbed it "a monument to Christian charity," in a quote from an Orlando Business Journal article. But, to many Altamonte Springs residents it has become known as "The Mistake by the Lake."
The Majesty building sits on Central Parkway near the Interstate Four overpass as an empty glass shell that has been under construction since 2000. Many residents wonder as they drive by the unfinished landmark what is taking so long to finish the project, it has been eight years already and there is no projected completion date that has not already passed.
The building is owned by the local Orlando Christian television station The SuperChannel, and the reason the project has taken 8 years and counting to complete is the station has vowed to build the project debt free using donations from viewers and support from business claiming a portion of the office space on the buildings floors five to 17.
While an admirable idea, the station has taken a long time to raise the millions of dollars necessary for this monumental project, the mere length of time taken to finish the building has cost donors and investors more in property taxes and building costs than the interest would have cost them on a loan for the original $40 million that the TV station projected it would need to complete the building.
The property taxes paid on the $100 thousand plot of land in 2008 were $16,864. While taking into account that property taxes have increased since the first year of the project, the SuperChannel has paid at least $110 thousand in taxes over the past eight years; an amount that is greater than the total value of the land the building sits on.
Moreover, Bowers told The Orlando Business Journal back in 2004 that the project was costing the SuperChannel an estimated $500 thousand to $1 million per month. Tack on inflation for the past four years, and that amount has surely increased.
So let's do the math with the figures that are readily available. If $750 thousand per month over eight years is added to the total estimated amount paid in property taxes the Majesty Building has cost approximately $72.1 million and growing. That is nearly twice the originally estimated amount.
If the building was completed promptly with the use of a $50 million loan that carried a fixed rate mortgage of 8.39 percent, the average interest rate for a mortgage in March 2000, the station would have paid about $4.2 million in interest. That would mean the total project would have cost in the ballpark of $50.5 million leaving room for property taxes.
Assuming the math is accurate, the decision to build the Majesty building debt free was a $21.6 million mistake that the charity of Christians has been forced to bear, and that price tag will only continue to get bigger the longer it takes to complete the project.
Residents in the area will have to continue to deal with the eyesore in center of town until the SuperChannel can somehow raise millions of dollars from its viewers in the face of one of the greatest economic downturns our country has faced. With that said, even if the SuperChannel decided to go ahead with a loan to get the project finally completed, the credit freeze would stop them.
That strange looking thing on I-4 in Altamonte Springs? I think it is called the "Super Channel" something. Since I've been here, I've not seen any building going on and have noticed some broken windows in the past week. It's nasty when the sun hits it and blinds you! Did someone start something they can't finish? Does anyone think they will finish the building? I think I've seen a few broken windows. No activity at all. What a bloody waste. :( It is still ugly. Wonder what will ever happen? Ah funny, I went passed it on Saturday, first time I'd been that way in ages and I was like "dam they still have't finished building that thing!!" and drove by that stupid thing again. What an eyesore! CH, that thing is commonly called "the I4 Eyesore" on a local radio station. I have to pass it everyday. Yuck! If the donors could see it now, they'd take back their donations! That thing is just so ugly! ER, yeah, that is the ugliest thing I've ever seen. I never see any construction going on and folks are breaking windows now. Did they run out of money? You mean that thing north of Altamonte Springs that has a big 1/4 circle or arc as a roof? That is an architectural monstrosity. ' Back in Florida and drove by that stupid thing again. What an eyesore!
From Luke Chapter 14... Jesus is speaking:
28) 'When any of you wants to build a high house, you sit down first and see how much it will cost. You want to see if you have enough money to finish it. 29) If you do not have enough money, you will not be able to finish it after you have made the foundation. Then all the people who see it will laugh at you. 30) They will say, "This man started to build a house and could not finish it."
David Danger McIntosh: It looks like a giant pair of electric clippers to me. Like the kind you buzz hair with. Every day I saw that thing I couldn't help but imagining it being used by some large religious robot to shave the sins of Altamonte Springs away. Rachael Sibley: that thing is awful. It looks like a giant air vent.
This originally posted 5/6/10