First private company closer to joining Innovation Square

By Andrea Rumbaugh | The Gainesville Sun

The Infusion Technology Center is one step closer to starting construction at Innovation Square at the former Shands AGH site.

Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group of Gainesville was recently appointed as the property’s exclusive broker. Managing Director Nick Banks said they are looking to fill the space with biomedical and high-tech companies. The center also will need businesses such as law firms to provide in-house services, and retail outlets and restaurants to lease the ground floor.

Banks said he hopes to start signing contracts in the next 30 to 45 days, and construction is planned to start late this year.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “There’s so much momentum behind this project.”

The 150,000-square-foot building is the first private development in Innovation Square. It will be next to the Florida Innovation Hub at UF, an incubator for technology-based start-ups. It is hoped that workers at the two buildings will collaborate.

“We envision that it is likely when they (the start-ups) do graduate that many will go right next door to the Infusion Technology Center,” said Jane Muir, director of the Innovation Hub.

Trimark Properties, developer of the Infusion Technology Center, also plans to build the UF INSPIREation Hall in the square. John Fleming, managing member of Trimark, said it will be a dormitory for entrepreneur-minded students attending UF. It will be open to students of all majors and ages and, in addition to housing, will have a 150-person space to be used for classes, dinners and events.

Construction is planned to start in early 2013.

Fleming said it was a well-planned strategy that Trimark Properties would one day develop with UF. In Innovation Square, it hopes to help create an environment where people can work, play and live.

“Our hopes are to support the University of Florida’s efforts in creating a really urban, unique research park,” he said.

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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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