Development planned for 5th Avenue area
Published: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 10:32 a.m.
A new development could house 580 students on NW 13th Street and help revitalize the Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street neighborhood, but may require at least $3.9 million in incentives to be feasible.
University House at 13th Street, proposed by Atlanta-based University Partners, would include four buildings and a parking garage at NW 13th Street and NW 7th Avenue.
The $36 million project would include 185 apartments and a swimming pool, according to an incentive application filed by the developers with the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency.
"University Partners is focused on student housing communities," said Kim Hardcastle, a spokeswoman for the company. "Gainesville's kind of a natural fit."
The incentive package, which would be paid in the form of tax reimbursements over 15 years, would help developers cover what they call a $4.8 million funding gap created by features sought by Gainesville city commissioners, who oversee the redevelopment agency.
The application includes environmental improvements, storm- water features and public recreation areas, in the form of improvements to a playground at the Alachua County School Board's A. Quinn Jones Center.
The project also would bring more people and a larger tax base to the Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street area, a predominantly single-family neighborhood, said Kate Parmalee, the redevelopment agency's interim manager.
The site is designed to integrate with the neighborhood by placing four-story apartments near NW 13th Street and three-story units closer to the less densely developed areas to the east, Parmalee said.
Agency officials will not decide whether to approve the project until they receive an independent financial report on the proposal.
City commissioners likely will consider decide whether to approval of the incentives sometime this summer.
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