County Commission Approves Plan To Move Fairgrounds
The new fairgrounds is a big step in the plan to make East Gainesville a more viable area for businesses. The project may take years to complete, but in the first phase of the operation could be underway within a few months.
"Alachua County and the city of Gainesville undertook a joint planning study several years ago called Plan East Gainesville and one of the top priorities was to redevelop the site of the current fairgrounds into a commerce site," said Rick Drummond, the assistant county manager.
Several years later, it's not the current fairground site that will be redeveloped right away, but a new site altogether. The new fairground site will be bigger, and it will have things the current site doesn't have. These new features include an open-air ampitheatre, a multi-purpose exhibit hall and a lot more parking. The current site will remain the same for now.
However, some residents in that area are not happy about the new fairgrounds.
"Although the new fairground plan may benefit businesses that have been identified as current stake holders, I think its being built at the expense of the residents of the area," said Elaine Young, concerned resident.
Drummond says that county officials have had several meetings with the upset residents and they are trying to address their concerns.
"We may not 100% satisfy them to the extent that they want, but we take it seriously and we'll be working with them," said Drummond.
Drummond says that he will present a detailed timeline of the project process to the County Commission in the coming months. The plan is to complete the new fairgrounds in several phases.
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