For a considerable amount of time now, Horizon Hospitality Management Inc. has been in serious negotiations with the city of Gainesville in regards to purchasing City Lot 10, which is on Southwest First Ave. and Second Street in Downtown Gainesville. The property has an appraised market value of $760,000, and both the City and Horizon are willing to make a deal around that price.
If Horizon gets their hands on the property, they plan to build a 12 story (minimum) building which will include “a 180- to 220-room full-service hotel, around 10,000 square feet of retail space, between 13,500 and 16,500 square feet of office space and another 22,500 to 27,500 square feet of meeting space.” The developer plans to take this space and with the approval of Hilton Hotels and Resorts, build an Embassy Suites Hotel. A reverter clause in the contract would allow the city to take back Lot 10 if Horizon violates this clause.
There is one factor still holding up the purchase and selling of this lot though. In the early 2000s, the city entered a 99 year agreement with Kenneth and Linda McGurn for use of the parking garage. The cost for the city to get out of this agreement is nearly $2,000,000 and rises each year. The city had this to say about the Lot, “An Aug. 6 City Commission meeting agenda said early termination of the McGurn license agreement was being proposed in part to reassert the city’s control of the garage 'as an asset to potentially spur urban redevelopment' and to cancel out a long-term -- and growing -- financial liability.” If all goes well, Horizon will end up will 855 parking spaces, with some of those still designated for public use.