Innovation Square Has Been Prepped For Development

Innovation Square continues to make progress! Additional improvements will make is easier for developers to complete buildings. Along with the improvements, work has started on Infinity Hall. Infinity Hall is a University of Florida 308-bed residence for students who are interested in business and entrepreneurship. The 12-acre site for Innovation Square has been named the “superblock.” It is the core of Innovation Square. The “superblock” will include utility lines, wide walkways, drainage improvements and plantings. Developers have created the infrastructure in the “superblock” to have a competitive edge so new companies will be able to construct new buildings quickly without having to wait for new infrastructure to be built.

Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency is responsible for the roads and walkways in Innovation Square. They have made the former Alachua General Hospital a new “walk, live, and play” area. GRU constructed underground utility lines for electricity and gas for the new technology hub. They also added a backup generator and a chilled water facility that will provide air conditioning for Innovation Square buildings. Along with the new roads and utility improvements, the City of Gainesville created the storm water improvements for the area. The future 40 acre Innovation Square area will include apartments for Gainesville innovation workers and a grocery store. Other potential buildings will hold innovation companies that are researching and developing new products and service. Mindtree’s U.S. Development Center now occupies the third floor of the Ayers Medical Plaza. Mindtree has renovated the fourth floor of the building and is planning to add 150 jobs to its current 130 workforce. The completion of Innovation Square’s infrastructure will give Gainesville a significant advantage in recruiting new companies to the area. 


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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