Monday, March 3, 2014

PI Update: Hyperion Wharf vs Disney Springs

As you know, the Pleasure Island clubs closed in late September, 2008 amid plans by Disney to outsource all of the existing buildings to third parties to be operated as restaurants and shops.  But a deteriorating economy and allegedly high rents put a hold on potential lessees and those plans never materialized.  Finally, in Fall, 2010, Disney instead announced Hyperion Wharf and Save Pleasure Island Blog was the first to publish the plans. Those plans were quite vague on substance with large areas of Pleasure Island remaining "seed & mulch".  In April of 2011 the Blog was the first to report that Hyperion Wharf was either on indefinite hold or cancelled and it wasn't until March, 2013 that its replacement, the much-grander Disney Spring, was announced.  But we wonder how much of the Wharf carries over to the Springs?  
Hyperion Wharf was limited to Pleasure Island of course while Disney Springs impacts the entire Downtown Disney complex. Pleasure Island becomes "The Landing" in this reincarnation and is now under active construction.  In the Wharf plans as shown above, the Lily Pad area was to keep it circular look with some sort of compass-look embedded into the ground. 
At that time the Lily Pad area did get rebuilt but it never gained the compass look. As we saw last weekend, the Lily Pad area is under active demolition and reinvention again! At the rear, notice the only pedestrian option from this area is to head towards Raglan Road and Mannequins.
One holdover from Hyperion Wharf is this new pedestrian passageway that is going to cut through what is now the service court between Raglan Road and Portobello. This throughway was so important to the Hyperion Wharf plans that it led to club Motion being demolished.  The club unfortunately sat at what is the top end of the new route.  Notice the plans have at least one new retail store along the routing.
Inspecting this area more closely, we see the the existing service court at the upper left and behind that big brown door, the replacement service court.  The dirt area on the left is where the new Boat House restaurant is going; it's footprint extends out over Village Lake.  To the right, we see unknown construction taking place including a circular excavation into the ground.  This is near where the outdoor amphitheater was to be built for Hyperion Wharf but we don't know yet whether it survives for Disney Springs. We also see a new building under construction in the upper middle, roughly to the rear of where Fuego used to stand.  We still don't know what is coming but we do know that after 5 years of nothing, they've finally got their Mouse tails in gear!

No comments: