Colonnade Construction at UF Library West

The colonnade at the University of Florida Library West is an iconic part of the outline of the edifice as a whole. Students can be found milling their way down the colonnade to a variety of destinations, and the colonnade is a popular study spot, with plenty of room to sit. As a covered brick structure connecting the entrance of Library West to Smathers Library, not many people have much to say about the structure. It’s just there; drawing neither praise nor criticism despite it being in a high traffic area.

The colonnade will receive a $1.5 million makeover. The renovation will result in a taller, narrower structure with electrical outlets and additional study space. Some seem very excited about this improvement; others, however, are concerned that there are many other places that $1.5 million could be better spent.


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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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