Demetree eyes partner for student housing & retail redevelopment near UCF

Winter Park-based development and management firm Demetree Global is refining its vision and lining up a partner for the phased redevelopment of an expansive corner it owns just west of the University of Central Florida's main entrance.

The company's affiliates own more than 48 semi-contiguous acres at the southwest corner of University Boulevard and N. Alafaya Trail. Of that, 10 retail outparcels now front University Boulevard across 10.5 acres, and should remain.

Conceptual planning has evolved over more than a year for another 37.55 acres that lie south of the outparcels, which today include a mix of undeveloped land, a retail strip center, internal roadway and a student housing complex. 

Targeted for delivery in Fall 2019, Demetree's team is still refining its gameplan for the property and has yet to file Development Plans with Orange County. But it controls the land and has the entitlements needed, key factors for a shot at starting site work as soon as 2018. 

The first phase of redevelopment is expected to be for the existing retail strip center of about 40,000 square feet (no. 3 on map above - 4.21 acres), Michelle Heatherly, director of operations/strategic development, told GrowthSpotter from the floor of ICSC Florida Conference & Deal Making on Monday.

New streetscapes would be applied to the Collegiate Way that runs through the property parallel to University Boulevard, and angled streetfront parking would replace the current strip center's frontage lot.

The building would be given a facade overhaul, with a mix of one- and two-story buildings that could total nearly 70,000 square feet of leasable area, per the conceptual retail site plan. 

A Demetree affiliate also owns the Collegiate Village apartments directly west at 11850 University Blvd. (no. 1 on map above), which today has 361 units, some of which have two beds. 

The company expects to sign a student housing development partner by year's end to expand this property by up to 1,000 beds, and to position it as "modern student housing," Heatherly said. Those new student apartments could be built over ground-floor retail.

Then the third priority for redevelopment would be 2.8 acres to the east of the strip center (no. 2 on map), fronting N. Alafaya Trail. Demetree is still considering whether this is best suited for multifamily, retail or a mix of the two, Heatherly said. 

Separately, Chase Bank has the land lease for a 1.15-acre parcel on the hard corner that is not owned by a Demetree Global affiliate, with plans for a new branch. 

Zyscovich Architects in Winter Park has contributed conceptual renderings to the project thus far. 

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