Ground may be breaking soon on some long awaited commercial development at the University of West Florida.
Dr. Jim Barnett, the Interim CEO of the Business Enterprise Inc, or BEI, at the University of West Florida says the BEI Board of Difrectors approved the project at its February 17 meeting. It goes to the full UWF Board of Trustees for final approval on March 26. Barnett says that if approval is given, ground could be broken two days later. This would be the first phase of development at the University's Highway 90 and Campus Drive entrance.
Phase One development calls for the construction of a building holding a coffee shop, a restaurant, and a retail shop, plus a separate stand alone restaurant building and 85 parking spaces, all along Highway 90 on the East side of the Campus drive entrance to UWF.
BEI is partnering with Compass/Chartwells, the University's dining service contractor to either run or sublet the space. Chartwells will be making a substantial initial investment in the properties. It's the partnership with Compass/Chartwell's that Barnett feels will bring some national names to the development. They are working with BEI as well as the University, the Florida Department of Transportation and the Northwest Florida Water Management District to make the best use of the 2.75 acre site.
BEI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) direct support organization incorporated to direct public/private partnerships to support the University of West Florida. Dr. Jim Barnett says other BEI projects, including a practice field for the new football program are moving forward with a target date of 2016.