Growing in G'ville

New jobs, retailers and faces enliven the scene

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, at center, attends a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Nanotherapeutics facility located in the city of Alachua's Progress Park Wednesday, October 23.

Doug Finger
Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.

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After starting out in the University of Florida Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator in Alachua in 1999 and graduating to its own office across the street in Progress Corporate Park, Nanotherapeutics broke ground Oct. 23 on its Advanced Development and Manufacturing Center on 30 acres of the nearby former Copeland Sausage property.

The $135 million, 165,000- square-foot facility is slated to open in early 2015 to fulfill the company's contract with the Department of Defense to develop and manufacture drugs to treat bioterrorism and radiological threats and to develop the manufacturing processes for other companies. Nanotherapeutics has 65 employees with plans to ramp up to 150 with an average salary of $90,000.

GATORADE'S GREAT FLORIDIAN: In a prior visit to Gainesville, the governor presented the Great Floridian Award to the family of the late Dr. Robert Cade, lead inventor of Gatorade, on what would have been his 86th birthday Sept. 26. Cade, who spent 38 years in the UF Division of Renal Medicine, began his research on Florida Field with $46 worth of supplies. Today, Gatorade is a $5 billion-a-year business and has generated $240 million in royalties for UF, most of which is used for medical research. Cade was the 82nd recipient of the award.

NEW BRAND IN TOWN: After attending Nanotherapeutics' groundbreaking in Alachua, Gov. Rick Scott attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 23 for Philadelphia marketing firm 160over90's new office in downtown Gainesville. The company, which is working with UF on its branding strategy, moved into Randy Batista's former photography gallery at 21 SE Second Place next to the Hippodrome Theatre and plans to hire 35 people with an average salary of $90,000.

FAST-GROWING PHARMACEUTICAL: A company that spun out of a UF research lab this year and had two employees secured a $32 million venture capital investment and an agreement that could be worth up to $300 million to sell to a major multinational pharmaceutical company. Based on the work of medicinal chemistry professor Raymond Bergeron, Sideris Pharmaceuticals is developing a treatment for iron overload from multiple blood transfusions. Sideris granted exclusive rights to Switzerland-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals to acquire the company and its technology.

HAPPENINGS AT BUTLER PLAZA: Redevelopment projects in Butler Plaza are filling up with new businesses. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft is coming to the renovated Esplanade at Butler Plaza early next year in the former Publix location. Alumni Hall, which sells Florida Gators apparel and merchandise, opened at 3730 Archer Road in the new building that includes Pink Narcissus and Yogurtology, and Zoe's Kitchen, a Mediterranean and Southern fast-casual restaurant, plans to open there in January. Alumni Hall is owned by the Goodfriend family that owned Goody's Department Store in Butler Plaza from 1994 to 2008. Gigi's Cupcakes is coming to the new building at 3524 Archer Road that will also include the previously announced BurgerFi and Whichwich restaurants.

NEW AT THE HIPP: The Hippodrome Theatre hired Thomas Eldon Anderson, 55, as producing director to succeed Mary Hausch, who retired after 40 years as the theater's only producing director. Anderson comes from Baton Rouge, La., where he was interim executive director and director of corporate and government development at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at Louisiana State University. He and his actress wife, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, lived in Gainesville in the 1990s when he acted in three productions at the Hipp.

OPEN: Yummy House China Bistro at 7605 Newberry Road, Anytime Fitness at 15202 NW 147th Drive in Alachua, Zaxby's at 16088 NW U.S. 441 in Alachua, Sugar Refined bake shop at 25345 Newberry Road in Newberry.

… AND SHUT: Both Tasty Buddha locations at 2410 NW 43rd St. and 25 NW 16th Ave., Bella Donna's Italian Eatery at 1023 W. University Ave.; Mamma Mia Pizzeria at 490 NE 23rd Ave., Key West Cigar Lounge at 16 SW First Ave.

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