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.
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.
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.
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.
The building will have collaborative learning space, classrooms, offices, computer labs, media commons/library, and space for community events.
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.
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.
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.
The city is already building that road extension, but the streetscape plans have to go before the CVDRC for reccomended approval.