Bustling SW Second Avenue reflects the future for Gainesville

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Southwest Second Avenue, the often-used corridor between the University of Florida’s eastern boundary and downtown, once was lined with a hospital that had been around for 80 years and other buildings just as old, some in disrepair.

Now, city and university officials are hoping to transform Southwest Second into the area’s future.

“It will be a community that kind of grows right there at Second Avenue and Sixth Street,” said Ed Poppell, UF’s vice president for business affairs and economic development, referring to the corner where the university’s Innovation Hub is being built.

A few blocks east, near the recently erected Palms condominiums and 2nd Avenue Centre (formerly Jefferson 2nd Avenue) apartments, UF is building a complex of its own — The Continuum, which is being marketed to graduate students and is expected to open in the fall.

Tommy McIntosh, the chairman of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and president of Prudential Trend Realty, said the area is going to be a big employment center and will add vibrancy to downtown, which is a few blocks farther east.

“I had lunch down there in a little restaurant in the Lofts [apartment complex] the other day, and it was really exciting to be in that area to see the construction going on and see Innovation Square going up,” McIntosh said.

Article: Gainesville Sun, Chad Smith and Anthony Clark