City OKs rezoning for eight-floor complex on 13th Street


An artist's rendering of an eight-story building proposed to be built on Northwest 13th Street across from the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. (Courtesy of the City of Gainesville)

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 9:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 10:13 p.m.

Redevelopment plans for a block of Northwest 13th Street moved ahead Thursday as Gainesville city commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request allowing an eight-story building on a roughly 1.5-acre tract across 13th Street from the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop.

Plans call for 26,000 square feet of street-level retail, 20,000 square feet of second-floor office space and, above that, six stories of residential that could include up to 168 condominiums or apartments.

Located in the 300 block of 13th Street, a short distance north of the University of Florida campus, the block slated for redevelopment includes what is now a vacant car wash and an Orange and Blue Textbooks store.

The proposed project is a joint venture between New York-based RD Management and Lawrence Wright & Partners out of South Florida. Wright, a former University of Florida football star, said this will be his firm's first project in Gainesville.

RD Management owns and manages more than 200 retail properties, with tenants that include national department stores and restaurant chains.

Gerry Dedenbach, the director of planning with Causseaux, Hewett & Walpole Inc., said the planned design is for a building that reaches eight stories fronting 13th, but toward the east the building will be only three stories.

The project has been in the works for more than a year, and Thursday's vote did not pave the way for construction. Dedenbach said the site planning process is now expected to take six to eight months because the compact site will require extensive stormwater design work.

Thursday's vote changed the property from a variety of zoning categories to a planned development. Before the vote, Commissioner Thomas Hawkins said he hoped the city's zoning regulations would be overhauled so a zoning change would no longer be required in the future for a similar mixed-use, urban redevelopment project on a small tract of land.

City Commissioner Randy Wells said it was good for the city to see the project moving ahead despite the down economy.

Contact Christopher Curry at 374-5088 or chris.curry@gvillesun.com.

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