Business spots vacant at Plaza on University
The Plaza on University apartments are on track for students to move in on time, but 22 of its 28 retail and restaurant spots still sit vacant.
Plaza officials said that everything is on track for this coming semester, but restaurant and retail spots beneath the apartments are still being filled.
Businesses such as Bento Cafe, Floyd's 99 Barber Shop, Bar Louie and GMC have already signed leases at the complex.
"There are 28 spaces, and we have only filled six," Plaza officials said. "[Businesses] are still in the process of leasing, but there's nothing concrete."
The amount of space allotted to a single store or restaurants depends on the business interested in leasing and how much space they want, according to the American Campus Communities corporate office, so one business doesn't necessarily equal one space.
With several businesses that wish to fill the empty spaces, Plaza officials said the leases are based on bids, so the businesses that bid the highest get spaces.
Bento expects to open in late fall because the space will have to be remodeled to resemble other locations, said Andre Rivas, manager of the downtown Bento location.
The establishment hopes to draw a large student crowd with the new Plaza location.
"[Bento higher-ups] have always wanted [a location near] UCF. We have one in Gainesville, and we're really good with the college environment. We love students," Rivas said. "We've done a lot of events for UCF, so we wanted to be close to it to attract other students there."
Along with the developments being made inside the apartment complex, there is also construction being done outside the complex to ensure a safer surrounding for the almost-completed student-living area.
There is a traffic light being installed at the intersection of Alafaya Trail and Strategy Boulevard, and Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Steve Olson said the signal is close to being placed in operation.
John Klimovitch, county traffic engineer for the Orange County Traffic Management Center, said the signal is going to be activated in a couple weeks before school starts.
There are also going to be pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection, Klimovitch said.
Hazem El-Assar, chief engineer for the Orange County Traffic Engineering Division, confirmed that the signal will be operating before the new school semester.
"The signal has already been turned on flashing operation, yellow on the main street and red on the side streets," El-Assar said. "It will be in full operation next week."