Exclusive: UCF Area Mixed Use Project
The burgeoning Plaza on University mixed-use project near the University of Central Florida reached a milestone this month: Its first retail tenant. The estimated $100 million project being developed by Austin, Texas-based American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC) — a razing and redevelopment of the former University Shoppes project at the northwest corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail — inked a lease with downtown’s trendy Pan-Asian and sushi eatery, Bento Cafe. The project is set to bring about 60,000 square feet of much-needed new retail space to one of Central Florida’s hottest submarkets, where retailers have been clamoring for space. The proximity to the University of Central Florida, high-wage workforce and an established residential neighborhood make it an ideal place to expand concepts. Additionally, this project would be one of the first in the area to incorporate residential with first-floor retail, making it a pedestrian-friendly development. See more details on retail space availability. Bento Cafe plans to build out a 3,865-square-foot space with patio seating in the development, which has 360 student-housing style apartments above 60,000 square feet of retail space. The developer expects to hand over the retail space to Bento Cafe in the spring. This will be Bento’s third Central Florida location and its sixth in the Sunshine State. Bobby Palta of CBRE represented the landlord on the lease deal.