University Club approves 340-unit high-rise plan for downtown

Downtown Orlando’s University Club membership voted Thursday night to approve a plan for a 340-unit apartment high-rise on its property at 150 E. Central Blvd.

The building is expected to rise at least 30 stories, making it one of the tallest buildings downtown, although there is no official sketch or details about the structure yet.

The deal gives the University Club the entire first floor as as large condominium unit, and the first level of a planned seven-level parking garage. 

The developer is Dallas, Tex.-based Mill Creek Residential, a spin off of Trammell Crow. The club will sell the property to Mill Creek, and later purchase the condo unit for its new home. Terms of the deal were not announced, but one member who asked not to be named said the terms were “very favorable.”

“We had a special membership meeting without about 200 members, and there was only one dissenting vote,” said David McLeod, attorney and member of the University Club.

County records say the club owns 1.2 acres, with a county assessed value of $3.38 million.

Mill Creek has built apartments in Tampa and plans more in Florida, including a new project in Coral Gables. None of those appear to be high rises.

Mill Creek has 12 months to obtain approvals from the city, and McLeod said the tower should be completed in 2017.

He said the University Club level will have more amenities, something considered vital to keeping the Club attractive to younger generations. The new club ceilings will be 20-foot tall, with a possible mezzanine office level, McLeod said.

“We hope we get the city to approve more density than 340 units, and we think there’s a good chance for that,” he said.

The lot is near Lake Eola, and four blocks south of the Vue at Lake Eola, which is a 36-story condominium.

A previous plan for the University Club property was stalled by the Great Recession and death of a developer – which was a 37-story, $250 million twin-skyscraper with condominiums, offices, a hotel, and shops.

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