Local pastor preps church site near UCF for student housing

As several student housing projects move forward simultaneously near the University of Central Florida, a local minister is prepping land where his church sits to make room for another.

According to an application filed this week to Orange County, Mark Todd, lead pastor of New Life Church of God, is seeking a land-use change to allow the nearly 60-year-old church at 2820 N Alafaya Trail, just south of the college campus, to be replaced with a 600-bed, 150-unit student housing community.


The application, requesting to rezone the 3.16-acre property from R-1A to PD, was filed on Todd’s behalf by Thomas Sullivan with the Gray-Robinson law firm. Sullivan nor Todd could be reached as of Friday afternoon.

Application materials filed to the county do not indicate if a developer has been tabbed to lead the project, and land development plans have yet to be submitted.


What is immediately clear is that while the UCF Foundation owns the 432-unit student-housing community on adjacent land to the south of the church site, the college is not pursuing an expansion, a college spokesman told GrowthSpotter.

“The UCF Foundation is the landowner for The Pointe at Central, but has not been involved with any proposals on the adjoining parcel. There are no talks of expanding The Point,” said Mark Schlueb, the college’s director of strategic communications.

Schlueb recently told GrowthSpotter that more off-campus housing is needed for a college that had had more than 70,000 students enrolled this past school year. It currently has 7,200 student housing beds on campus.

“Our on-campus housing has always been in high demand,” Schlueb said in mid-July, “but over the past few years we’ve seen our housing units fill up very quickly. Given this demand, many students choose to live in one of the many nearby off-campus apartment complexes designed specifically for students.”

While sharing a border with The Pointe at Central, a community of townhomes called Cambridge Circle wraps around the west and north edges of the church site.

Units here are rented out, and most of the residents are students, according to Wendy Morris Realty, which markets the townhomes when they’re available for sale.

North of Cambridge Circle, Philadelphia-based Campus Apartments owns the 224-unit Campus Crossings student housing community.

The plan for the church property joins a plethora of student housing projects in the pipeline for land near UCF.


The Quadrangle PD — a 470-acre tract just west of the college campus that had been slated for office usage since the 1970′s before developers began chipping away at the entitlements to allow housing — is home to two projects in some stage of development.

Indiana-based Trinitas Ventures recently secured a $33.6 million construction loan to start work on a 750-bed, 188-unit student housing community at 4742 Data Ct. — north of Corporate Boulevard, west of N. Alafaya Trail.

The company bought the 6.25-acre property for $3.7 million. Humphreys and Partners Architects is leading the design of the five-story apartment buildings.

Also at Quadrangle, Texas-based American Campus Communities, the nation’s largest developer, owner, and manager of student housing, has received approval from Orange County’s planning department to build its community at 12124 High Tech Avenue.

Plans call for 898 beds across 250 units in one five-story building, with up to 3,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a 567-space parking garage. Atlanta-based Niles Bolton Associates has been tabbed as the project’s lead architect.

Just south of the church property, Winter Park-based Progressive Capital Group is seeking approval for a 600-bed student housing community at the site of a former Golden Corral restaurant.


The proposed development plan calls for two, 5-story student housing buildings that wrap around a 7-story parking structure.

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