Innovate June 2016

The Gainesville City Beautification Awards


Written By: Kaitlyn McKinley

Since 1993, the City of Gainesville has been presenting beautification awards to recognize buildings, landscapes, parks, and public spaces with exemplary design and aesthetic appeal that have positively contributed to the city’s development and progress as a whole. The 2016 award ceremony was held on April 27 and featured noteworthy representatives from the community like Earline Luhrman, the urban forestry inspector who gave the convocation, and Dr. Anita Spring, the City Beautification Board co-chair. In addition to recognition of specific projects, the Outstanding Individual Award is presented to Gainesville natives whose work has contributed to the betterment of the community. This year’s awards were presented to John Fleming of Trimark Properties and Dr. Theresa Beachy of Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network. As the evening progressed, awards were presented by members of the board across various categories including the Outstanding Group Award, Restoration and Adaptive Reuse, Institutional Facilities, Apartments, Commercial and Retail Businesses, Environmental Enhancements, Public Spaces, Uniquely Gainesville, Outstanding Institution Award and Outstanding Environmental Award.

While recognizing contributions to the community of Gainesville was the theme of the evening, the broader purpose of the awards is to propel innovative redevelopment and create design trends that will bring the city together into a cohesive community. The beautification board stated, “The awards highlight projects of outstanding aesthetic and artistic appeal. Projects are evaluated for originality, innovation, and creativity, as well as for their sustainability, maintenance and use of serviceable materials. An award-winning site must exhibit appropriate land utilization, effective planning, compatibility with the area and screening of unsightly views. All projects must meet applicable building and landscaping codes. Each must result in the improvement of the area, property or neighborhood.”

The standards for recognition are high, and the 26 awards presented this year are a testament to the fact that businesses in the Gainesville area are committed to progress and urban redevelopment. Additionally, the larger trends evident in the winners serve as a forecast for the future landscape of the Gainesville area. Some notable stylistic similarities among the winners this year were modern, clean spaces with high energy efficiency, boutique apartment complexes and a less-is-more approach to building in natural areas. Although these are only a few of the common threads, they speak to the trajectory for Gainesville in the future. While the urban center is rapidly expanding, there is an emphasis on maximizing the beauty of the Florida eco-system where the city resides.

As the City of Gainesville Beautification Awards continue to be presented, it will be important to observe the future trends for business and the entire community. The 2016 award winners are worth recognizing for their unique community contributions and aid in furthering the progress of the city.

 

Sidebar:

City Beautification Board 2016 Awards:

Outstanding Individual Award:

  • John Fleming, Trimark Properties
  • Theresa Beachy, Peaceful Paths

Outstanding Group Award:

  • Gainesville Woman’s Club | 2809 W. University Avenue

Restoration and Adaptive Reuse:

  • Social Security Building | 4562 NW 13th Street
  • Gainesville Plaza | 2649 NW 13th Street
  • U14 | 1402 W. University Avenue

Institutional Facilities:

  • UF Infinity Hall | 978 SW 2nd Avenue
  • Reitz Union Expansion and Renovation | 686 Museum Road
  • UF Health Haile Family Medical Center | 2846 SW 87th Way
  • Northwood Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses | 3780 NW 16th Boulevard

Apartments:

  • Centro Luxury Apartments | 1433 NW 3rd Avenue
  • Social 28 | 311 SW 13th Street
  • Solaria Luxury Apartments – Phase II | 1023 SW 6th Avenue
  • Tuscana Luxury Apartments | 811 SW 8th Street

Commercial & Retail Businesses:

  • Outback Steakhouse | 3760 SW Archer Road
  • Sonny’s BBQ | 3635 SW Archer Road
  • Swamp Head Brewery | 3650 SW 42nd Avenue

Environmental Enhancements

  • Yelvington Wetlands Restoration Project | 7605 NW 13th Street
  • Cofrin Nature Park Renovation and Survivors of Suicide Loss Memory Garden | 4810

NW 8th Avenue

  • Butterfly Hill at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens | 4700 SW 58th Drive

Public Spaces:

  • Bo Diddley Plaza Revitalization | 111 E. University Avenue
  • Entrance at Cynthia Moore Chestnut Park and Clark Butler Nature Preserve | 2315 SE 35th Street
  • SW 5th Avenue Porters Community Project | 512 SW 2nd Terrace

Uniquely Gainesville

  • One Love Café | 4989 NW 40th Place

Outstanding Institution Award

  • George T. Harrell M.D. Medical Education Building | 1104 Newell Drive

Outstanding Environmental Award

  • Sweetwater Wetlands Park | 325 SW Williston Road

 

BIO:

Kaitlyn McKinley is a communications professional living in Gainesville, Florida. She is passionate about the real estate business, finance and marketing luxury brands.

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