In September 2014, the University of Central Florida's President, Dr. John C. Hitt, announced that UCF will be developing a groundbreaking new Downtown Orlando campus. More recently, our team heard Dr. Hitt speak about the new venture at the Downtown Orlando Tech Celebration held at the Canvs co-working space. We were thrilled to hear about the immense positive changes and growth the campus will bring to Downtown (and all of the nearby apartments, of course!). After Dr. Hitt's speech, we were immediately inspired to learn more.
The new campus, set to open in 2018, will move our community forward in ways that will change the way that students, businesses, residents, and everyone else involved in the community will view Downtown. UCF is calling it the "21st-century campus," which makes sense in our rapidly evolving city. The campus is part of a larger mission to make Downtown Orlando a leader in the local and global economy.
So what does this new campus mean for Orlando's future development? UCF's Downtown campus page gives us some insight on what to look forward to:
Over 7,700 students from UCF and Valencia College will be able to not only live in dorms and apartments in Downtown Orlando, but also learn in the creative atmosphere Downtown promotes. A total of 14 different programs will be offered in three industries: Digital Entertainment and Communication, Health Care Technology and Administration, and Public Service. The proximity of these students to various businesses in the industries will not only give the students internship and career opportunities, but it will also give Orlando's businesses fresh, bright, and creative minds to nurture.
According to GAI Consultants, Inc. the project will stimulate the economy by bringing in $205 million in gross economic income - both at the state and local levels. It will also produce $90 million in annual wages for the community members. An estimated 2,000 direct and non-direct jobs will be provided to our community. As a matter of fact, all of the numbers surrounding the project are astonishing. $20 million of the funding for the academic building will come from community support, with contributors like the Orlando Magic and Universal Orlando Resort. The remaining $40 million will come from state support and UCF funding. However, the cost of UCF's Downtown campus is completely outweighed by the benefits it will bring to the community. It is truly amazing seeing the community come together to support this growth. That is what it's all about.
Growth in Central Florida
The growth that will come of this project will fuel some major improvements. The engagement between the nearby businesses and neighborhoods will give Downtown Orlando residents new resources and educational opportunities not available to them prior. The overarching goal is to promote collaboration between the university and the communities, in order to make Orlando even better and more prosperous than it already is. The opportunities this growth will bring to countless industries will also be great. Students will be looking for places to eat, places to unwind, and places to live in Orlando. I am positive that we can expect much more positive expansion to come from this massive project.
For more information and a visual of the project, watch UCF's video below: