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CFCAR Newsline

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  • Monday, April 22, 2019 3:57 PM | Debbie Colangelo

    A sleepy part of downtown Orlando near the site of the former Amway Center has awakened in recent months as construction workers bring to life the long-planned dormitory, classrooms and recreation center that will comprise the new shared UCF and Valencia College campus.

    But the idea of living alongside professionals might be slow to take hold with students. Just 40 percent of the roughly 600 beds in the yet-to-be-finished dorm have been reserved. It’s too soon to know how many students will register for courses on the new campus. Some, however, won’t have a choice because a few programs are moving there.

    With a planned fall semester opening, University of Central Florida Interim President Thad Seymour told the Orlando Sentinel recently he thinks there’s a “growing energy and momentum” surrounding the new campus, which is expected to serve 7,700 students.

    “Early on, I do think it took some people some time to get their heads around the idea that ‘Oh, I’m actually going to be teaching downtown or my classes are all going to be downtown,’” Seymour said of the new complex, which promises to reshape several blocks of downtown west of Interstate 4.

    Though most of the trappings of traditional college life — football games, the student union, Greek life — will remain 15 miles away on the university’s main campus in east Orange County, school leaders hope the opportunity to be close to internships and potential employers will lure students downtown.

    “It’s very exciting for Orlando that we’re going to be able to bring this game-changing program to life this fall,” said Michael Kilbride, the assistant vice president of the downtown campus.

    The idea of taking classes downtown initially didn’t appeal to Sierra Scott, who is double majoring in political science and legal studies, one of the programs shifting to the new campus. The school was slow to provide information, said Scott, a junior who first learned about the planned move during her freshman year. But after attending an open house and going on a hard hat tour of the construction site, she said she sees the potential benefits.

    “All these opportunities they’re giving to us makes it more worth it than I initially thought,” said Scott, who plans to attend law school after she graduates from UCF next spring.

    But while Scott said she’s excited about taking classes downtown next year, she intends to live five minutes from the main campus so she can remain active in student organizations based there.

    While UCF students in the nine undergraduate majors that will be based at the downtown campus are encouraged to take courses outside their majors there, it’s not required.

    Shuttles between the main campus and downtown will be provided for commuters. If UCF students choose to take general education requirements at the new campus, they’ll be in classes alongside Valencia peers, who can earn associate degrees there and then transfer to the university through the DirectConnect program.

    UCF leaders say one of the key benefits of being at the new campus for their students is the proximity to potential internships and employers. For similar reasons, students in the Rosen College of Hospitality Management attend classes on a separate campus near International Drive.

    For legal studies majors like Scott, the university estimates there are 786 companies and organizations related to the field in four downtown ZIP codes, compared with 31 surrounding the main campus. Students also will be within walking distance of the Orange County Courthouse.

    The move also will make it easier for faculty members to attract guest speakers to legal studies classes, said Alisa Smith, chair of the department. And the program will have a mock courtroom for students to hone their skills. Smith agreed the prospect of moving downtown is becoming more palatable as the opening date approaches.

    “Even the people who had reservations are seeing the promise that downtown holds,” Smith said.

    Students in the handful of communications majors moving downtown are generally excited about the prospect, said Jennifer Sandoval, an associate professor. But she said there’s some anxiety about being separated from amenities like clubs, activities and the student union building.

    “I hope we’re going to create our own unique campus environment so students don’t feel like they’re missing out,” she said.

    That’s what university leaders hope to do.

    One of the most striking parts of the new complex is a 15-story building that will include the dorm, as well as classrooms and Valencia’s culinary arts and hospitality programs. Across Livingston Street is the new Dr. Phillips Academic Commons, which will include more classrooms, a library and space for studying and tutoring. It’s all part of the 68-acre Creative Village, which also will have offices and mixed-income housing.

    There’s still plenty of work to be done on the new campus before employees and students are expected to move in this summer. Students interested in the new dorm, for instance, can’t tour the facility yet but can view a model unit.

    Still, Seymour said the campus will be ready in time for the first day of fall classes Aug. 26.

    “We’re on schedule, on budget,” he said. “We’re not just easily coming in for a landing, but it’s on the glide path and we’ve got a great team working on it, between us and our Valencia partners.”

    At Valencia, existing faculty members interviewed for positions downtown because they wanted to be part of the new campus, said Eugene Jones, the college’s executive dean of the campus.

    Aside from offering opportunities to existing students, university and college leaders say they want to make higher education accessible in an underserved area that’s a 20-minute drive from Valencia’s west campus. And for people who want to improve their skills but aren’t interested in a two-year associate degree program, Valencia will offer a few short-term job training programs that last between eight and 22 weeks.

    “We really think it’s going to be a paradigm shift for the residents of that community and all of downtown,” Jones said.

    Source:  Orlando Sentinel

  • Thursday, March 21, 2019 11:46 AM | Debbie Colangelo

    A year-in-the-making deal nearing the finish line is set to bring Central Florida a top Midwestern grocery chain’s futuristic e-commerce center.

    The city of Groveland on March 18 approved an incentive package totaling $1.4 million for a development agreement with Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and UK-based online-only grocer Ocado Solutions. A final agreement is pending.

    The two grocers together plan to build a 375,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the Lake County city that would supply online customers only, not grocery stores.

    The land acquisition, construction and robotic equipment for the e-commerce center will cost $125 million, Kroger said in a news release. The project would create 506 jobs with an average wage of $52,000 annually. It’s also projected to add $63 million in annual economic impact to the region.

    The Groveland Customer Fulfillment Centers warehouse will be built at U.S. 27 and American Way near Florida’s Turnpike, Kroger announced after the March 18 meeting. Construction is expected to start later this year, and the center will start operations in 2021. A general contractor and architect haven’t yet been named, and Kroger spokeswoman Kristal Howard said she had no updates.

    It’s unknown how many acres the fulfillment center will occupy and whether the grocers are under contract to buy or lease the land, which is owned by Atlanta-based TPA Group LLC.

    Groveland is along the Florida’s Turnpike corridor and provides easy access to State Road 429, as well as Orlando International Airport, making it an ideal site for a statewide fulfillment center.


    Source:  OBJ

  • Friday, February 15, 2019 3:14 PM | Debbie Colangelo

    March 1 will see online education available through the CFCAR website. 

    CFCAR and VanEd have signed an agreement that will provide this great service to commercial members.  Knowledge is power for brokers today but time is limited in everyone's day.

    Online education is a powerful tool and CFCAR has seen that and is providing member value.

    Visit our Education Page for more information.

  • Monday, January 28, 2019 3:17 PM | Debbie Colangelo

    Have you ever wished there was someone associated with Florida Realtor’s leadership who understands commercial real estate and is elected to be in your corner? If so -- your wish has come true. CRCAR members are fortunate to have a commercial expert as their liaison for 2019 within Florida’s largest trade organization.  Congrats to Lou Nimkoff, CCIM, for being elected Florida Realtor’s District Vice President, District 12 for 2019. Lou provides leadership, support and direction to CFCAR as well as other boards within the District 12 boundaries.

    Lou is the owner and Broker of Brio Real Estate. Based in Winter Park and founded in 2002, Brio Companies a commercial real estate firm focused on small to mid-sized businesses in Winter Park, Orlando and the nearby surrounding areas. Active in commercial real estate since 1983, and a real estate broker in Florida for over thirty years, Lou knows your business His specialties are commercial Real Estate- Acquisitions, Dispositions, Management- Retail, multi-family. Some office, land, industrial and condo.

    And there is more. Lou has managed the development of 40-acre parcel from raw land through entitlement stage with its own sewer plant, bridge over state creek, roads and utilities. Notable transactions include: Sale of 49% interest in 7 property portfolio of office buildings and shopping centers- $40,000,000 and Selling broker in sale of 167-unit apartment property- $14,000,000.

    His leadership experience shows a commitment to this trade. Lou served as 2018 President of the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association; an Institute of Real Estate Management Instructor, a leader in the CCIM Institute and the Florida CCIM Chapter, and more.

    “Since getting my CCIM designation in 1993, I am honored to have served at the CCIM Institute, in my current position, and in the past as National Treasurer in 2016,and previously as a Presidential Liaison, RVP, Member of the Board of Directors of both the Institute and the CCIM Foundation, committee chair and/or member. I also served locally including state chapter president,” he shares.

    Lou wants CFCAR members to take full advantage of all CFCAR membership benefits, including those garnered via their connection to Florida Realtors.

    "As a commercial Realtor myself, I can tell you that the value to each CFCAR member far exceeds the cost,” he explains, adding, “I hope 2019 will be the year that we can get greater knowledge, and use, by our members of things like free forms, the great free demographics and mapping through RPR, the free Legal Hotline, and the free Tech Helpline. Did I mention all this stuff is free?"

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:20 PM | Debbie Colangelo

    On January 18 the commercial real estate community met at the Marriott Downtown Orlando for CFCAR Outlook 2019 to hear from leading economists Dr. Mark Dotzour and Dr. Jerry Parrish. Mark gave a new fresh vision on the economic challenges we see with governments her and around the world. He showed how that can impact Central Florida.

    Dr. Parrish shared many tools and information that can be used on a daily basis to help us all grow our business and target sales. The event ended with a panel of regional EDC leaders who gave a very “on the ground” update of things happening around our communities. 

    Growth is not an issue. We have a lot of commercial real estate developments and the panel gave specifics that were new to us all.

    We will continue to build on this great start to the year with more informational knowledge filled programs in 2019. If you missed the event remember to mark you calendar for the third Friday in January 2020.

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