Features November 2018

Rising of the East: Heartwood


Written By: Gigi Simmons

East Gainesville is a hidden jewel composed of natural resources, green spaces and a unique landscape. With established tree-canopied neighborhoods, its proximity to downtown and the University of Florida, East Gainesville is on the cusp of revolutionary development and growth.

The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency is renovating the former Kennedy Homes site with high-quality housing for a mixed-income community. Heartwood will consist of 34 new homes and thoughtfully planned outdoor spaces that will encourage healthy activities and interaction with neighbors.

Located on East Hawthorne Road, the Cornerstone redevelopment project is transforming a 13.6-acre site, which houses Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC), into a commercial-focused mixed-use development with up to 10 buildings.

Merieux NutriSciences, an international food testing company, is relocating its Gainesville office from their current home off of Archer Road to a building that is nearly completed on the Cornerstone campus. They will bring their 70-plus current employees and expect to create many more jobs in East Gainesville.

Equally exciting is Santa Fe College’s plan to build a proposed $32 million, three-story, 50,000-square-foot facility for its downtown campus, which will better serve East Gainesville residents.

In addition, the expansion of Santa Fe’s Blount Center will connect the needs of East Gainesville residents with an array of services and program. The expansion will also lessen the transportation burden of East Gainesville residents by offering classes and programs (that were traditionally taken on the main campus on NW 39th Avenue) just minutes away. Also, a makeover is in the works for Citizens Field, with the implementation of plans funded by The Wild Spaces and Public Places sales tax.

Citizens Field, located in East Gainesville off of Waldo Road, will undergo much-needed renovations. It is with great interest and optimism that an event center will be built alongside or integrated into the renovation or upgrades to Citizens Field and hopefully this will garner or help to spark development on the Waldo Road Corridor.

As you can see, great things are happening in East Gainesville. Remember: Work, love, play and live East!

Leave a Comment