Cranes have become a common site around Gainesville, as the area seems to always be developing in one form or the other. The University of Florida, a key player in the Gainesville economy, recently partnered with Boston firms Elkus Manfredi and Dumont Janks. Together, they hope to draft a development strategy that would effectively fill a stretch of West University with office space, residential complexes, and other real estate. Consultants from the two firms have agreed that the chosen stretch of area between UF and downtown Gainesville is currently underutilized; together with the University, they aim to solve this issue with a plan that facilitates business growth and community building. Part of this plan would entail the construction of completely new multi-use facilities, which would optimally act as incubators for start-ups, research organizations, and student-faculty relations.
Although some Gainesville residents fear the changes associated with this project, both the University of Florida and the consultants mentioned above feel extremely confident that their agenda could yield very beneficial results for the community as a whole. UF Health, a nationally renowned healthcare provider, would also take part. The development plan hopes to link the center of the UF campus with the medical area by constructing a “research corridor” that would provide myriad opportunities for students and faculty to join together for research and training. Altogether, this development plan, although very ambitious, may soon change Gainesville for the better and contribute to the exciting, forward-thinking environment that residents have come to know and love.