American Campus Communities
is leveling a shopping mall
near UCF to build student housing
and a retail component.

(Save the date: RealShare Industrial 2012 comes to The Bankers Club, Miami, December 5 – 6.)

ORLANDO—Developers are sacrificing the 25-year-old University Shoppes retail center for the sake of the next generation. Demolition and construction of the mall precedes a redevelopment that will bring student housing and retail across from the entrance to the University of Central Florida.

American Campus Communities is kicking off the project this week. Plans include 1,313 beds of student housing, 60,000 square feet of new retail space and a 10-level parking structure to the university area within the Northeast Orange County submarket.

“This shopping center is sitting at the third or fourth busiest intersection in Greater Orlando,” Bobby Palta of CBRE, which is marketing the retail space within the project, tells “The shopping center was built in the early 80s and was never properly maintained and the tenancy was never up to par.”

When University Shoppes was originally developed, UCF was a small university. Today, it’s the second-largest university in the country with a student body exceeding 58,000.

Plans call for the 14.03-acre retail site to leveled except for the existing McDonald’s restaurant along Alafaya Trail. The project is should be completed by the third quarter of 2014 in time to open the doors to students attending the fall academic semester.

“Even though a couple of student housing projects have been delivered, there’s still a lot of demand out there,” Palta says. “We are in active negotiations with several national and regional retail concepts for this exciting redevelopment at the entrance to UCF. This will be a key project in the high-demand University submarket of Orlando.”