Winter Park Construction

Students attending the second-largest university in the United States will soon have a high-quality off-campus living option. University House Central Florida, located a half-mile from the University of Central Florida campus in Orlando, will offer a number of amenities to students when it opens in fall 2012. The development is the latest in the University House brand owned and operated by Inland American Communities Group Inc.

“University House communities are dedicated to providing high-quality, innovative living and learning solutions to college and university students,” says David Pierce, AIA LEED AP, vice president of development and design for Inland.

Construction began in December 2010 and general contractor Winter Park Construction of Maitland, Fla., is in the process of laying the concrete slab foundation for the $34.3 million, 386,000-square-foot, five-story wood-frame building. Crews are also erecting a pre-cast, five-and-a-half story concrete parking deck. The facility was designed by Humphreys & Partners Architects LP, headquartered in Dallas.

The building’s height calls for the use of stronger detailing in the materials than normally seen on smaller, wood-frame buildings. “From a construction standpoint, five-story construction creates challenges from a wind standpoint,” Pierce says. “We’ve needed to use more fire-rated lumber and stronger exterior bearing walls.”

Site Amenities

The five-story building will feature 995 beds in 416 units. Residents will have a choice of nine different apartment styles, ranging from 480-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath efficiency units up to 1,600-square-foot four- bedroom, four-bath units. Each unit is fully furnished and includes a full-sized kitchen equipped with Energy Star-rated appliances, Pierce says.

“The idea of this development is to have a plug-and-play kind of environment,” he adds. “Cable, utilities, Internet and wireless (fees) are all included in rent; this is a fully amenitized environment.”

Other amenities on the 10-acre site include four courtyards, a resort-style pool, volleyball and basketball courts, a putting green and a clubhouse. The clubhouse includes a fitness center, a multimedia lounge, internet cafe and a social lounge. The development is located near university and city shuttle transportation systems providing access to and from the university.

“From a building standpoint, I think the high quality of the amenities will set this building apart from a lot of other student housing developments we’ve seen in recent years,” Pierce adds.

`A Great Partner’

Inland American Communities Group is a development, acquisition and management organization dedicated to the creation of communities in urban infill and university markets across the United States. The company, headquartered in Dallas with offices in Atlanta and Tempe, Ariz., was formed in 2007.

The company’s private student housing projects are strongly market-driven. “We maintain a database of major universities across the country and keep up relationships with brokers in those markets,” Pierce says.

“I think we do a very good job thoroughly researching opportunities, understanding the markets we go into and hitting the mark with our developments’ mix of units and amenities,” he adds.

With active development projects in multiple markets nationwide, Inland American Communities remains committed to a market driven, customer-focused strategy.

The team has been recognized in the student housing arena as innovative advocates, developers, principals and partners in building and operating university communities on and off campuses nationwide.  Their strategic approach involves substantial long-term investments in carefully chosen markets, working in partnership with each university and its neighbors to enhance the university community environment with innovative, off-campus housing.

Inland American Communities’ student housing developments incorporate the best of residential living units and cutting-edge amenities for the ultimate living and learning experience, with an emphasis on implementation of the latest advancements in technology.

Winter Park Construction provides pre-construction, general contracting, construction management, renovation and green building services to clients in the hospitality, residential and commercial sectors. Since its founding in 1974, the company has built more than 20,000 multifamily units, 12,000 timeshare units and 2,500 hotel rooms.

“This is (Inland’s) first project with them, but they came highly recommended,” Pierce says. “They’ve been working closely with us on this since its inception, and have been a great partner on this project.”

Pierce also credits Tri-City Electrical Contractors and Armstrong Air & Heating – the electrical and mechanical subcontractors on the project – for their assistance in putting together bid packages. 

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