The Orlando Sentinel published an article about the ongoing effort to transform the Amway Arena area into a “Creative Village” in which UCF would have a significant presence. Developers are applying to get a piece of the $600 Million TIGER II discretionary grant funding. According to the Sentinel,
… money would be used to extend the Lynx Central Station’s bus and rail lines to the property; rebuild and realign roads that run through it; and add transportation features such as bus rapid-transit stops and paths for pedestrians and bicycles.
Developers and the City hope to hear by the end of the year if their application is approved. Of course, this grant money would only be a small piece of the total construction cost. But it would be a small victory for the city, and a step in the right direction that would also benefit UCF.
Orlando’s ‘Creative Village’ hinges on grant money (Orlando Sentinel)
More posts about the Creative Village at Under Construction Forever
UCF’s new 50-acre College of Medicine campus is at the center of the emerging 600-acre “medical city” in Lake Nona. Lake Nona is a master-planned community taking shape in southeast Orlando. I had a few requests to take some photos of the new campus in Lake Nona (officially, the UCF Health Sciences Campus). I’d never been to the Lake Nona area before, so I decided to take a drive down 417 to take a look.
So far, UCF has completed two buildings, the 168,000-SF classroom building and the 198,000-SF Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences building. The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute building is also complete. A 1.2 million SF VA Hospital (opening 2012) and Nemours Children’s Hospital are currently under construction. Both will open in 2012.
I have to admit, right now this place seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but that will soon change. New housing developments are already springing up along Lake Nona Blvd. north of 417. A “town center” development is planned for the site across the street from UCF’s campus. More development is sure to follow once the economy recovers. Overall, it is really awesome what they are building in Lake Nona.
Classes will begin on the new campus next month.
The new station for the UCF Police (aka the Public Safety Center) is supposed to complete sometime this month (July 2010). The construction fence has been taken down, and it appears that the finishing touches are being applied to the $10-Million facility. This building is massive compared to the tiny building they are currently using!
Here are some photos of the RWC expansion project. The glass for the curtainwall is being installed by West Tampa Glass, and you can see the new lap pool in the front of the building.
The much-needed expansion will complete this Fall. Click here to see previous updates on the RWC Expansion.
A few days ago, I snapped a few photos of the UCF Arena and the surrounding area (Knights Plaza). Most of you have probably already seen this part of campus since it was completed in 2007, though there have been some recent changes. A hair & nail salon has recently opened in the space between Subway and Red Brick Pizza. Original tenant Volcano’s (coffee shop) has been closed for about a year, and Beach Scene (surf & clothing store) closed this Spring.
There is a sign on the old Beach Scene space for Bronze Beauties tanning salon opening “mid July”, however the interior buildout doesn’t appear to be underway.
Signs on several of the vacant retail spaces indicate leasing for Knights Plaza is now handled by Tizon Commercial. Alan Gooch (former UCF Football player and coach) is listed as a managing partner of Tizon.
At one point, I believe there were plans for additional retail space in this area. It is unclear if (or when) the additional retail phases will be built.