Reedy Creek to pay $85 million for Disney parking garages
Mar 20, 2013
With the news of the Downtown Disney remodel, we heard that a parking garage may be coming to the area. Official word is now that there will be two parking garages with a total of 6,000 spaces and that the Reedy Creek Improvement District will be paying for them. Reedy Creek is the governing body Disney created when building Walt Disney World. The garages will cost Reedy Creek an estimated $85 million, but should save Disney millions. Because of its government status, Reedy Creek can use tax-free bonds for the property, as well as avoiding sales tax payments on the materials.
There are some that are criticizing the move, saying that Disney is taking advantage of having their own government. Rick Foglesong, a political-science professor at Rollins College, said, "Reedy Creek's ability to issue tax-free bonds and avoid paying sales taxes on construction materials gives the Disney Co. a competitive advantage over other theme parks and resorts in Florida."
Disney refutes the claims, saying that the expansion of Downtown Disney is actually only part of a much larger plan to reduce traffic problems and a new exit ramp off of I-4 will direct cars right into one of the parking garages. Andrea Finger, Disney spokeswoman, said, "The infrastructure work we are planning in coordination with the Reedy Creek Improvement District will provide easier access to Disney Springs while helping to minimize the impact on surrounding roadways at no cost to local taxpayers. Consistent with its charter and its historic mission, Reedy Creek has funded and continues to fund infrastructure projects across our property." Because the garages are at Downtown Disney and not a ticketed attraction, they believe a greater public purpose is being served.