City and county leaders break ground on new hotel and mixed-use development in downtown Gainesville
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - City and county leaders broke ground Friday on a new hotel and mixed-use development planned for downtown Gainesville.
The Hyatt Place hotel is expected to offer 145 guestrooms with a second-floor elevated pool, free WiFi, 24-hour food and 18-hundred square feet of meeting space. The ground floor will feature retail space while the other five floors will offer residential space, including 39 studio-loft apartments and a residents-only fitness center.
“After the pandemic, the hospitality industry has really been hit very hard and so this is really just moving in the right direction to be able to boat our economy and to continue to grow the region and in particular the downtown area,” said Staci Bertrand, the VP of Economic Development for the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce.
“Whenever you put this amount of capital into an area, it’s going to spur other jobs and other development and this is the right kind of development in the right place. Again, the local folks that are in charge of this project, along with our partners over at the city, really care about the area and improving downtown Gainesville,” said Ken Cornell, Chair of the Alachua County Commission.
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The six-story, 135-thousand square foot space, located across from the Hippodrome, is expected to include the hotel, retail space, apartments and a restaurant.
While some worry that adding a hotel to the downtown area could detract from the city’s unique atmosphere, city leaders say work is being done to integrate it.
“The great thing about the Hyatt Place is that they work with our people here to develop a similar look to what we want to keep, you know, that style that we really enjoy here in the downtown area, and so they are going to develop everything in alignment with what we really enjoy here,” Bertrand said.
“We think it’s going to alter it in a good way. I mean, essentially we are constantly showcasing our community, our university, Alachua County, the city of Gainesville. And so this is an opportunity for folks that are coming here, moving here, visiting here to experience everything that Gainesville has to offer,” Cornell said.
The project is expected to be finished by late next year.
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