Kristin Mamula: Different kinds of development
Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 28, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.
An article in the June 21 Gainesville Sun reported that the Gainesville City Commission voted 4-2 to approve land use changes and re-zoning for the proposed commercial development at the corner of West University Avenue and Northwest 13th Street. This is the development known as University Corners.
Debate during the meeting regarding the proposed zoning changes focused on the scale of the buildings to be built and on the traffic impact to the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Comparison was made to the proposed and approved new development, Butler Town Center, and the expansion of Butler Plaza.
Both University Corners and Butler Town Center are two worthy developments, which follow the city's desire for infill development within city limits.
Readers should know, however, Butler Plaza and Butler Town Center do not exist within an established residential neighborhood as would University Corners.
The new Butler Town Center expansion will have less impact on Gainesville's established single-family residences and historic University of Florida context neighborhoods.
The existing Butler Plaza and its approved expansion proposes 2.5 million square feet over 267 total acres, compared to the 1.3 million square feet proposed to be built for University Corners on 4.4 acres, roughly three city blocks. When comparing traffic generated for each development, it should be noted that the locally owned business, Butler Enterprises, has built its own roads and grid patterns to accommodate their development's traffic as Butler Plaza has expanded over the past 30 years.
The University Corners project relies on nearly half of its predicted traffic being satisfied by non-automobile modes, a first for the city of Gainesville and a project of this magnitude in our region.
Kristin Mamula is a marketing associate for Butler Enterprises.