City of Alachua eases way for 280-acre corporate park

Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.

The Alachua City Commission unanimously approved land-use changes on second and final reading Monday night to allow a 280-acre corporate park on University of Florida Foundation property that could accommodate companies needing a lot of land.

Having a large piece of land pre-approved for development is seen as an important part of efforts to lure relocating or expanding businesses, especially as the neighboring Progress Corporate Park runs out of large parcels, according to economic development officials.

They had been talking to two prospects, but one of those is not likely to move to the new park, said Bruce Delaney, who spearheaded the project as director of real estate for the UF Foundation.

“We'll be out there looking for prospects like we always are,” he said.

UF bought the land in the early 1980s as part of a purchase that included Progress Corporate Park to provide a place for UF technology projects and private start-up companies.

“We've got more effort than ever before that the university is putting into commercializing technology. The role I play is to have somewhere to put it,” Delaney said.

Land for the new business park has been farmed in row crops while Progress Corporate Park was developed.

Delaney said the foundation would likely trade all or part of the land to a developer that would agree to build roads in return, similar to the way Progress Park was developed. The foundation is not allowed to develop, he said.

Plans include a road through the property that would connect Progress Park to County Road 241 on the western border of the new park.

Any development within the park would go to the city of Alachua for site plan approval.

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