Update: The Florida Board of Governors' Facilities Committee approved plans Wednesday morning to build the hotel and convention center on campus.
Although the construction of new student housing in the UCF area has died down, plans for a boutique hotel on campus are heating up.
The Florida Board of Governors’ Facilities Committee is set to meet Wednesday at Florida International University to discuss UCF entering a sublease with a vendor who plans to build a hotel and convention center on UCF property.
If approved, UCF will move forward with allowing a private vendor, KUD International, LLC — which has developed other projects, including a 1,500-room hotel in Orlando — to sublease part of the property and build a boutique-style hotel and convention center.
The approximately 135-room, four-star hotel will be located at the main campus on the northeast quadrant of Alafaya Trail and University Boulevard, which is currently undeveloped, according to the committee’s project summary. It is also anticipated to be branded as a UCF-affiliated hotel and may not necessarily operate under a national hotel chain, according to a market analysis from PKF Consulting USA.
Amenities will include a swimming pool and fitness center, a 2,500-square-foot restaurant, a snack bar, a 500-square-foot faculty lounge, a 200-square-foot lobby bar, a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and 2,000 square feet of other meeting-room space, the project summary states. Room rates are projected to start at around $157 per night and rise 3 percent each year, subject to market conditions.
Although UCF will not be financially responsible for the hotel, the summary states that it is interested in a full-service hotel — similar to the Embassy Suites at the University of South Florida property and the University Hilton at the University of Florida — to “assist with faculty and student recruitment.”
“UCF and the owner [KUD International, LLC] expect that university business partners and visitors will use the project when doing business with UCF, and the project will provide needed conference room space for various university events and user groups,” according to the document.
The hotel will be constructed, financed, operated and maintained under a “public-private partnership,” or P3 agreement, which means that the private vendor — KUD International — will oversee all aspects of the hotel, and UCF is simply the landlord. The document also states that the hotel operations will not infringe on university operations such as housing or parking, and will not affect the cost to students.
UCF will receive base rent payments starting at $140,000 in 2018 and increasing by 2 percent annually afterward. It projects that over the 52-year lease period, it will receive around $24 million, which it plans to use for scholarships.
If plans continue to move forward, construction on the $35-million property, which will be completely financed by the owner, will begin in March 2016 and will be scheduled for completion in January 2018.
Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @ByDaniHendrix or email her at DanielleH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.