Plum Creek: Learn the Facts

Last week, I wrote a Letter to the Editor for the Gainesville Sun about Plum Creek's Envision Alachua initiative.

Larry Keen attacked Plum Creek for its approach to planning for the future use of the land it owns in Alachua County (column, Aug. 23).

Plum Creek's plan puts 87 percent of its property into permanent conservation while limiting development to only about 7,600 acres. The plan has the potential to create a diverse economic base that our region desperately needs.

Keen also attacked Plum Creek for supporting local nonprofits and economic development initiatives as a way to merely win support. I know the individuals who work for Plum Creek and have served by their sides in the community. They care deeply about our collective community, and they are invested in the success of our region.

I urge residents to learn the facts about what Plum Creek is seeking to accomplish. We have a chance right now to shape the direction of our community and our economy for the next 50 years.

Nick Banks,



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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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