Innovation District will be 'Something Special'

From The Gainesville Sun:

By Nathan Crabbe

The University of Florida’s plan for the former Shands at AGH site started with the Innovation Hub, a business incubator that will open this fall.

The plan grew into Innovation Square. The development on the site and surrounding area is expected to include science and technology businesses along with places to live, eat and shop.

Now, UF is developing a master plan for an Innovation District that would stretch even farther into the neighborhood.

The area might include a grocery store, hotel and a greenway connecting parks and trails. An existing Santa Fe College center might be expanded into a full-fledged campus.

The area is envisioned as an urban, walkable neighborhood between UF and downtown, features designers hope will keep businesses spawned from university research within the community.

“I think it’s the most exciting economic development event since the university came to this community,” said Bruce Delaney, UF’s assistant vice president for real estate.

“I really believe that it has that potential impact,” he added.

UF is making two public presentations Monday. One will be held at Gainesville City Hall at 3 p.m., while the other will be at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School at 6 p.m.

The presentations are meant to be a “show-and-tell” about the plan and a chance to answer questions, said Ed Poppell, UF’s vice president for business affairs and economic development.

Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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