New buildings about to start sprouting near Innovation Square


Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.

Trimark Properties is moving forward with new buildings in and around Innovation Square after picking a construction manager for the eight-story Infusion Technology Center and plans for apartments, a dorm and a co-work space nearby.

Charles Perry Partners Inc. built the University of Florida Innovation Hub in 2011 and now will build Trimark's $30 million Infusion building next door.

The Hub and Infusion location are on the former Shands at AGH property owned by the UF Development Corporation along SW 2nd Avenue between campus and downtown.

"By selecting CPPI, Trimark has committed to keeping the majority of construction dollars within the local economy," CPPI Chairman and President Breck Weingart said in a news release.

The company recently moved its Diversified Projects Division to a renovated office in the Square.

Groundbreaking for the Infusion Technology Center is expected in the third quarter of this year with construction complete in 2014.

The building is designed to house companies that are interested in working with UF as research partners or to hire graduates.

Trimark has serious interest from a handful of technology companies, including some that want multiple floors, said Managing Partner John Fleming. He said he expects some announcements from the companies within the next 30 days.

The 150,000-square-foot building will include lab space, office space and a rooftop terrace. It also will include 10,500 square feet of restaurant/retail space or small companies in as many as four spaces on the ground floor.

"We will be looking to engage a coffee shop, small deli or small restaurant in one or more of the available spaces," Fleming wrote in an email to The Sun.

The building was designed to achieve Green Globes certification from the Green Building Initiative, an alternative to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

Trimark also will be building UF's INSPIREation Hall — a dorm slated to open in 2015 for students who want to start a business — on property the company owns across the street.

The developer hopes to break ground in August on a 77,000-square-foot apartment community called Savion Park with 115 bedrooms in 55 units just south of the Square on the site of the former Compassionate Outreach Ministries church that was demolished last year.

Fleming referred to Savion Park as a transition property for students and young professionals.

"It's on the edge of a very student-oriented district but also on the edge of a young professional district, on the edge of Innovation Square," he said.

The apartments should be ready in July 2014, he said.

Trimark is in the beginning stages of planning Nimbus, an 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot co-work space — or shared office — on the perimeter of the Square and probably will start construction in the fall of 2014, Fleming said.

While he said there is space in the Hub for startup companies and throughout Innovation Square for larger companies, "What we are missing at the moment is for the architect who wants to stop practicing at his house or her house or a lawyer who wants to be part of Innovation Square and can't afford 2,000 square feet but just needs an office, and small startup companies that for whatever reason don't fit within the Hub and just have an idea.

"We're getting a lot of interest."

— Anthony Clark

Wild Iris Books

Wild Iris Books reopened last Tuesday in its new location at 22 SE 5th Ave., just off Main Street behind the building housing the Citizens Co-Op and the Civic Media Center.

The self-described feminist bookstore originally opened in 1992. It closed its location at 802 W. University Ave. in December, with the owners saying they could no longer shoulder the costs of a rent increase and the closing of the in-store café that had shared expenses.

Owners Cheryl Calhoun and Erica Merrell considered closing but supporters persuaded them to try to reopen in a new location. They raised more than $6,000 through the $20 for 20 Years campaign.

— Anthony Clark

Pink Narcissus

Gainesville will soon be getting a new splash of pink.

Pink Narcissus, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, will be the first tenant in a new building in Butler Plaza on Archer Road.

The building, The Shoppes at Butler Plaza, is at 3730 SW Archer Road and has four suites.

Kristin Mamula, marketing associate for Butler Enterprises, said a second store in the 1,800-square-foot building will be announced soon.

Andrea Piorkowski, manager of Pink Narcissus, said the store should be open the last week of July or the first week in August.

Mamula said the opening date of the store will be posted on the Butler Plaza Facebook page as well as the store's website.

Pink Narcissus started in Tallahassee and has carried Lilly Pulitzer for 15 years. Pink Narcissus became an official Lilly Pulitzer store in May 2011.

Lilly Pulitzer is a brand for women that offers a variety of colorful dresses, tunics, resort wear, accessories and footwear inspired by the Palm Beach lifestyle.

Piorkowski said the store is opening in Gainesville because it is a great residential area for the fashion-conscious and because the store is partially targeting college students and Greek members.

"It's a great demographic area that is looking for fashion and looking to have places to shop," she said.

The Pink Narcissus in Gainesville will be the 75th Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, according to a news release.

— Caitlin Sinett

Anthony Clark is the Gainesville Sun business editor and Caitlin Sinett is a Gainesville Sun correspondent.

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