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Kennedy Place Rising

Published: April 27, 2005
Ground was broken during an April 25 ceremony for Kennedy Place, an 11-story building to be located on the southwest corner of Hyde Park Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard, just across from the University entrance.

A broad consortium of financial, business and University interests is expected to deliver a new 182-bed, estimated $15.6-million residence hall to The University of Tampa campus in July 2006.

The unique arrangement includes the developer, Andrew L. Arena of the Anthony Development Group Inc.; the Beck Group, which will construct the building; the Collegiate Housing Foundation, as lessor; and the University, as lessee.

The Collegiate Housing Foundation will lease the building to the University for 30 years, then hand over ownership to the University. The building is expected to have a useful life of 70 or more years.

“It sounds like a complicated arrangement, but everybody wins,” said Arena. “We wanted to build a building, but parking was limited. The University has parking, and needed more residence hall space,” added Arena, who also credits his partner, Jerry Ciccone, and architect Eric Kreher with devising the original proposal to the University.

“This has been a total team effort,” Arena added. “The property owner, Hratch Kaprielian, was great to work with. Unlike most transactions, Mr. Kaprielian had to pay all upfront cost associated with our getting everybody onboard, which included rezoning and architectural drawings complete enough to have Beck give us a good construction budget. Financing is being arranged by Northmarq Capital and funded by Legg Mason Wood Walker.”

University President Ronald L. Vaughn said he was pleased with the outcome, adding, “The new building comes at a time when we are in need of additional residence hall space to satisfy demand from our expanding student base.”

Kreher had some unusual design challenges in developing the plan for the new building. The building footprint is located on the former site of the Witledge Inn, an aging wooden structure that was demolished in mid-April to make room for the new building. In addition, a large "grand oak" tree sits on the edge of the property bordering Kennedy Boulevard, and had to be protected.
Kennedy Place will be 11 stories high, and will encompass 58,000 square feet. It will include 122 single apartments and 30 double units; each studio apartment with private bedroom, dedicated kitchen and bathroom. The residence hall also will have a central laundry facility, card access to the building, a large community room with exterior seating, and a small flower garden.

University officials expect the residence will be popular with upperclassmen and graduate students, and unlike other campus residence halls, it will operate year-round.

Though the facility will be privately owned, the University will be responsible for facility and housing management. A Residence Life staff member will occupy an apartment within the building.

The facility will be ready for occupancy in August 2006, in time for fall classes.