Blue Bamboo May Be Moving Into A New Home

Blue Bamboo May Be Moving Into A New Home

Anticipating a relocation, the Winter Park jazz establishment Blue Bamboo is navigating challenges linked to a potential triple rent increase at its current site. Marking its seventh anniversary in a July performance, owner Chris Cortez disclosed the impending hike to attendees. The 6,000-square-foot venue, originally a warehouse on Kentucky Avenue near Fairbanks Avenue and I-4, is presently under the ownership of developers with plans for substantial upgrades and attracting new tenants.

In response to the real estate predicament, Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts has identified a promising solution—a historic 6,000-square-foot brick building on Orange Blossom Trail owned by Dr. Phillips Charities. Ongoing discussions and thorough due diligence on architectural plans and construction expenses are underway, with a hopeful transition anticipated in the spring or summer of 2024.

Blue Bamboo Owner Is Optimistic

Cortez is optimistic about the move, underscoring the broader support for the placemaking concept in the Packing District. The planned relocation seeks to provide Blue Bamboo with a more prominent and expansive venue at 2586 N. Orange Blossom Trail, aligning with the 202-acre Dr. Phillips Charities development west of College Park.

Reflecting on the potential shift, Cortez highlighted the significance of the venue’s spirit residing in the people, beyond the physical structure. Despite the emotional attachment to the current space, which has hosted over 1,500 concerts and numerous performers annually, the nonprofit is directing its focus towards the future.

Currently Listed For Sale

The current warehouse and adjacent office, totaling 7,500 square feet, are listed for sale at $4.5 million. The redevelopment initiative, named Fairbanks Exchange, encompasses 11 parcels over 2.6 acres, acquired for a total of $9.2 million. The proposed project includes a substantial parking lot, retail spaces, offices, and at least one restaurant.

Blue Bamboo’s final performance at its current locale is scheduled for Dec. 23, featuring the Suzy Park Quartet with Cortez as the opening act. Looking forward to 2024, the organization will intensify fundraising efforts to meet construction expenses, while monthly concerts will persist at the Winter Park Library during this transitional period.

For Cortez, this move represents a new chapter, enabling the venue to sustain its commitment to artistic expression and the creation of a space where artists feel valued and supported.

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