More elbow room

Nationwide Insurance, on the corner of SW Williston Road and SW 34th Street, is adding 30,000 square feet to its facility. Nationwide also will be hiring more employees when the addition is complete.

(MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun)
Published: Saturday, February 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 1, 2003 at 2:10 a.m.

Nationwide Insurance is adding 30,000 square feet to its Florida headquarters in Gainesville and expects to hire more employees as part of its expansion.

The two-story addition to Nationwide's building at the corner of SW Williston Road and SW 34th Street will give the company some extra conference and office space and increase the building's square footage by nearly 25 percent, said Kenneth Stowell, the company's human resources director in Florida. In the next month, the insurance company will also add 30 workers, mostly customer service representatives, he said.

"With the expansion, we're making room for the new workers but also creating some elbow room for our existing employees," Stowell said. "We have doubled the employee population at this facility since the mid-1990s."

Nationwide is Alachua County's third-largest private employer with about 1,100 workers, trailing only North Florida Regional Medical Center with 1,520 employees and Publix supermarkets, which employ 2,090 people around the county, according to 2002 data.

Early last year, Nationwide shut down its office on NW 39th Avenue and moved 42 workers to the large facility in southwest Gainesville, Stowell said.

The move was made in anticipation of the current expansion project.

M.M. Parrish Construction Co. Inc. is the general contractor for the $2.5 million project. The work is slated to be complete sometime in August, said Mike Walsh, president of M.M. Parrish.

Joe Coombs can be reached at (352) 338-3102 or coombsj@

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