This view of the proposed five-story academic commons building is looking southeast from Livingston Street.
This view of the proposed five-story academic commons building is looking southeast from Livingston Street. (Schenkel Shultz Architecture)

The University of Central Florida filed plans on Friday with the City of Orlando for the anchor academic building of its downtown campus in Creative Village, boasting progressive design features along with adjacent land for future expansion.

Dubbed the Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, the five-story, 148,000-square-foot building will cover 6.85 acres, and stand at the southeast corner of Livingston Street and Terry Avenue, directly across from a planned 15-story mixed-use tower anchored by student housing.

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Adjacent property on either side of Terry Avenue will be reserved for future expansion of UCF's academic building footprint, and should be designed in the short-term as communal open space. An express shuttle from the main UCF campus would run down Livingston Street and stop at the academic building.

Outlined in black is the location of the proposed Dr. Phillips Academic Commons Building, on the southeast corner of Livingston Street and Terry Avenue. To its northwest is a planned 15-story student housing tower.
Outlined in black is the location of the proposed Dr. Phillips Academic Commons Building, on the southeast corner of Livingston Street and Terry Avenue. To its northwest is a planned 15-story student housing tower. (Schenkel Shultz Architecture)

With a hard deadline to open the building by August 2019, UCF and the city are expected to close their land transaction before a scheduled groundbreaking ceremony for the building on May 11. City commissioners voted on March 20 to give 10.9 acres to UCF for its campus buildings, the Orlando Sentinel previously reported.

The academic building has been pegged as a $60 million project by UCF over the past year. Lead officials for UCF Downtown did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

UCF's Board of Trustees approved the building's name in mid-March, prompted by Dr. Phillips, Inc., contributing $7 million in February 2016 toward construction of the downtown campus academic building.

Review of the newly-filed plans are on the April 11 agenda for the Creative Village Development Review Committee (CVDRC).

The new building will serve both UCF and Valencia College, and house academic programs from UCF's Digital Entertainment and Communication, Healthcare Technology and Public Service departments, along with Valencia's Culinary Management, Hospitality Management and Graphics/Digital Media programs.

This rendering depicts an interior courtyard area of the proposed UCF Dr. Phillips Academic Commons Building.
This rendering depicts an interior courtyard area of the proposed UCF Dr. Phillips Academic Commons Building. (Schenkel Shultz Architecture)

The building will have collaborative learning space, classrooms, offices, computer labs, media commons/library, and space for community events.

The project's design/build team on the Master Plan application includes SchenkelShultz Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Skanska USA Building Inc., referred to as SSA/RAMSA/Skanska.

Designed to fit seamlessly with the Creative Village Master Plan and the city's Growth Management Plan, the building's edge will engage the urban street corners, architects highlighted in their application.

The five stories will be spread across two academic wings that are connected by a bridge. The design allows for a central courtyard to be developed as additional buildings are planned in the future.

This diagram shows the planned uses on four floors of UCF's proposed downtown academic building.
This diagram shows the planned uses on four floors of UCF's proposed downtown academic building. (Schenkel Shultz Architecture)

An east-west promenade was also designed to integrate the existing UCF Center for Emerging Media, which will be renovated as part of the project, with the new academic commons building and a nearby UCF parking garage to be built.

The building's exterior will consist of precast concrete that will be detailed to emulate limestone, with the elevated bridge designed fully with glass.

UCF's Master Plan filing is the third for a major development in Creative Village since late February. It follows Atlantic Housing Partners' plans for a 256-unit mixed-income housing and commercial project, and Ustler Development and partner KUD's plans for a 15-story mixed-use tower anchored by student housing.

A rendering at night, showing the academic commons building in Creative Village while looking southeast, through the open courtyard area.
A rendering at night, showing the academic commons building in Creative Village while looking southeast, through the open courtyard area. (Schenkel Shultz Architecture)

Separately, another Master Plan request was filed within the past week to extend Livingston Street from its current dead-end at Terry Avenue a few hundred feet west to Parramore Avenue, which would complete the street grid of Creative Village.

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The city is already building that road extension, but the streetscape plans have to go before the CVDRC for reccomended approval.

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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