City a magnet for new eateries, stores, housing

Lots of changes coming downtown, near campus, elsewhere


Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.

The face of Gainesville is changing.

Activity is picking up from new stores and restaurants interested in moving here, and demand is up for new housing.

Long-stalled, modern mixed-use developments based on the "live, work, play" concept have resumed development, including Celebration Pointe near Archer Road and Interstate 75 and West 38 west of the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center.

Butler Plaza is preparing to double in size.

Traditional housing developments such as the Oakmont subdivision at Southwest 24th Avenue are back on track, along with new phases opening in existing subdivisions.

Changes also are coming to the center of the city. Several new buildings are in the works in and around Innovation Square between downtown and UF to cater to technology companies and their service providers.

Properties around UF are being redeveloped to be closer to the center of student and residential activity, with plans for taller buildings that fit more apartments, more stores and more restaurants.

New businesses are opening downtown to take advantage of the growth from Innovation Square and downtown tech startups — and more customers coming downtown from other parts of town.

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