Student housing tower and academic complex UnionWest at Creative Village has opened in downtown Orlando, Fla. Development Ventures Group and Ustler Development are the developers of the $105 million mixed-use student housing tower, which serves students from the University of Central Florida and Valencia College. Real estate private equity firm Halstatt Real Estate Partners provided equity and partnered with the joint venture on the project.
In March, Franklin Street was tapped to manage UnionWest. Situated at the intersection of West Livingston Street and North Terry Avenue, UnionWest at Creative Village is a 15-story structure featuring 644 student housing beds. The tower includes more than 100,000 square feet of academic space, as well as 11,000 square feet of ground-level shopping and a 600-space parking garage.
Of the six UnionWest street-level spaces, five have been leased. The current lessees are Vera Asian, Addition Financial, Subway, Dunkin’ and Qdoba Mexican Grill.
Creative Village is a $1.5 billion mixed-use master redevelopment featuring restaurants, entertainment, art, parks and green space on the west side of downtown Orlando, near the juncture of I-4 and the Holland East-West Expressway. The plan for the 68-acre transit-oriented urban infill neighborhood calls for Creative Village to be a “live-work-learn-and-play” innovation district in the heart of Orlando. Among the uses represented in Creative Village are higher education, student housing, mixed-income housing, office space, creative studios, retail, commercial, hospitality and recreation.
The new University of Central Florida-Valencia College campus opened last month with a total of more than 8,000 students, faculty and administrators. Founded to create access to higher education in downtown Orlando, the campus offers a number of programs, certificates and training. It is home to the Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality, an important training center for an industry expected to grow by almost 11 percent in Central Florida through year 2023.