Hobby’s on its way

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 3:40 p.m.

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Hobby Lobby has signed a lease to open its first Gainesville store in the spot currently occupied by Stein Mart at 6111 Newberry Road next to Books-A-Million. The store will open sometime next year. Hobby Lobby is an arts and crafts retailer with 67,000 products in 13 departments. Stein Mart plans to close Aug. 27. A spokeswoman said the store was not meeting expectations.

RTI grows

Alachua-based RTI Biologics is in the process of acquiring Pioneer Surgical Technology of Marquette, Mich., in a deal worth $130 million. With the purchase, RTI will add synthetic and metal surgical implants to its portfolio of implants manufactured from human donated tissue and animal tissue, and expand its worldwide distribution network. RTI also will add 300 employees for a total of about 1,100. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the year. The combined company will have a new name to be announced later.

Thin is in

NanoPhotonica, a company with offices in Orlando and at the University of Florida Innovation Hub, was the winner of the fourth annual Cade Museum Prize and the $50,000 cash prize courtesy of the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. With technology licensed from materials science research at UF, the company makes very thin displays from nanomaterials that convert electricity to light, allowing electronic device manufacturers to make display screens that are brighter and less expensive to produce. NanoPhotonica is already working with four of the five largest display screen manufacturers in the world.

Changes on the airwaves

Under a new owner, WBXY The Star 99.5 FM talk radio changed format to Party 99.5 electronic dance music, while WYGC 105 The Game at 104.9 FM changed from sports and talk to a country music simulcast of Ocala-based WTRS and rebranded My Country. JVC Media of Long Island, N.Y., bought five FM stations in the Gainesville/Ocala market from Asterisk Communications of Fort Lauderdale. WSKY 97.3 The Sky picked up three shows dropped by WBXY — the Sean Hannity Show, the Laura Ingraham Show and Savage Nation with Michael Savage.

New face at ACT

The Alachua Conservation Trust named Tom Kay as its new executive director, replacing Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, who was elected to the Alachua County Commission. Kay came to the ACT after working as a lawyer in civil, criminal and real estate law at Jung and Sisco, P.A., in Tampa. He has worked as staff attorney for a not-for-profit healthcare organization and a public housing authority, and volunteered on local and national political campaigns, according to a news release. He and his wife, Christine, live on a farm in McIntosh.

Helping business grow

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce issued a report with 27 recommendations for how Gainesville city government can better help small-business growth. The suggestions came out of a May 13 forum called by then Mayor-elect Ed Braddy. The ideas include: lowering assessment fees and utility costs, eliminating complicated and unnecessary regulations, standardizing policies for more consistent enforcement, and reforming zoning to replicate the fast-track process created for Innovation Square. Chamber President and CEO Tim Giuliani said in a news release that the Chamber would be working with the city to try to implement the recommendations. The full report is available at

Open …

Bird & Bunny (eco-friendly bags and accessories, local art) in The Oaks Mall, KC Crave restaurant at 3501 SW Second Ave., Vine Bread & Pasta at 627 N. Main St., Pollo Tropical at 3900 Archer Road, Asian Star restaurant at 2120 SW 13th St., Father Phil's (sandwiches and wraps) at 4123 NW 16th Blvd., Midnight Cookies at 3345 SW 34th St.

… and closed

Schlotzky's at 4720 NW 39th Ave., Roly Poly Sandwiches at 4123 NW 16th Blvd. and Tupelo Grill at 4401 NW 25th Place.

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