Mayor fears Midtown will change face of Gainesville


AAA Mini Storage and Sun Belt Moving, on the southeast corner of SW 6th Street and SW 2nd Avenue, is on the site of a proposed 23-story complex in Gainesville.

(ANDRA PARRISH/Special to The Sun)
Published: Thursday, January 9, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 9, 2003 at 1:16 a.m.

A swath of high-rise buildings in downtown Gainesville could ruin the district's walkable, approachable atmosphere, Gainesville Mayor Tom Bussing said Wednesday, the day before a city board could make a final decision on a 23-story complex in downtown Gainesville.

He said the proposed Midtown project "may well express the quandary that we face: Is Gainesville going to stay Gainesville?"

Protecting the city's skyline is just one part of the city's greatest challenge - preserving the things that make Gainesville unique, Bussing told an audience of about 25 at a League of Women Voters forum Wednesday. The skyline was just one of Bussing's points - he went on to talk about city buses, budgets, wetlands, recreation and other topics.

He said downtown needs new residents to support its businesses, but a grouping of high-rises like Midtown wouldn't fit in with the scale of nearby buildings.

"Is this the first of a few more such high-rises, or many more?" he asked.

Midtown is a trio of buildings more than 20 stories high planned for the south side of the intersection of SW 2nd Avenue and SW 6th Street. The city's Development Review Board is set to discuss the Midtown proposal at 6:30 p.m. today at City Hall.

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