On a trip to Phoenix, Ariz.,Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and University of Central FloridaPresident John Hitt visited Arizona State's downtown campus and found what they think is a missing piece in creating a vibrant downtown. The university's downtown campus is credited with transforming a formerly blighted area in Phoenix.
The visit impressed the pair enough to hatch plans to create a downtown campus for the University of Central Florida and Valencia College on 15 acres at the intersection of Parramore Avenue and Livingston Street, where some 7,700 students could work on college degrees while adding a spark of energy to the project that is now in its construction infancy.
Embedding the two higher-ed institutions is expected to engage surrounding businesses and neighborhoods with the university and offer new access to educational and other resources to downtown residents. The campus would open with housing, parking and dedicated transportation to and from UCF's main campus.
On Aug. 25, UCF announced it was delaying the opening of the future downtown campus by one year, from August 2018 to now August 2019.
Owner: University of Central Florida and Valencia College
Where: 20 acres between Livingston and Amelia streets
Size: 600,000 square feet
Start Date Goal: Fourth Quarter 2016 or early 2017
End Date Goal: August 2019
Project Budget: up to $210 million
Funding Providers: UCF, Valencia, Florida Legislature, $57.8 million