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Highlighted in blue, the parcel under contract for purchase by the Chabad student group at UCF is just a few blocks south of UCF campus.
Highlighted in blue, the parcel under contract for purchase by the Chabad student group at UCF is just a few blocks south of UCF campus. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Jewish student group Chabad at the University of Central Florida has a two-acre parcel under contract on N. Alafaya Trail just south of campus, is applying to re-zone the land to build a Chabad student center, and may pursue a general contractor in early 2016, the buyer's broker from NAI RealVest told GrowthSpotter.

Chaim Lipskier, campus rabbi and head of Chabad at UCF, has plans for a 15,000-square-foot building in the 3000 block of N. Alafaya Trail, on a vacant parcel located between the Hilton Homewood Suites UCF and the new University House apartments.

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Chabad is one of the world's largest and most active Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movements. Across U.S. college campuses, Chabad groups typically have a house or student center to provide some form of Jewish connection, and host social events.

Lipskier has the property under contract for less than the $795,000 asking price, with plans to close in December, said Jason Toll, the rabbi's broker from NAI RealVest.

Lipskier plans a 15,000-square-foot building on the property that will serve primarily as a social hall, with kosher kitchen to hold dinners and other Chabad gatherings, along with administrative offices. Total investment in the project could be $125 per square foot, or $1.875 million overall, Toll said.

The applicant is currently requesting re-zoning of the Orange County property from UR-3 to PD in order to build a student center. The request and Land Use Plan could go before the county's Planning and Zoning Commission in November, with Toll expecting approval in December by the Board of County Commissioners.

Lipskier has an architect signed for the project, and the planner/engineer is SK Consortium, Inc., out of Maitland. A general contractor has not been selected, with Toll unsure of when bidding may open for the position in 2016.

Lipskier will finance the land acquisition and project construction in part through donations, and in part with a private loan that's already been secured, Toll said.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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