Gainesville’s parking lot 10 has been home to outdoor dining during COVID-19, but the land could soon be developed

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Gainesville’s parking lot 10 has become the home of outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic, but city commissioners are considering proposals to build on the vacant property.

Gainesville city commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the city manager to negotiate with AMJ Group Inc. about the purchase and development of lot 10. This group is already developing land downtown as they are working on the new Hyatt Place project. AMJ President Mike Warren explained his group is planning a project that would transform downtown Gainesville.

“We can transform lot 10, which has been vacant for over 20 years, to a vibrant multiuse addition to our city,” said Warren.

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However, one resident believes building on lot 10 would change the dynamic of the area.

“It would make this whole area feel so much different. It would box us in,” explained Gainesville resident Aly Anderson. “We wouldn’t have that nice feeling of being outside and seeing oak trees and seeing other people.”

According to Warren, this proposed project by AMJ would address multiple areas, including residential and business space.

“The project we are proposing is a mixed-use development between 7 and 10 stories ranging from 175 thousand square feet to approximately 250 thousand square feet. Downtown Gainesville has been considered a food desert for a long time, and we are proposing that the ground floor be a grocery store,” said Warren.

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He explained the second floor would be parking, mainly for the grocery store. Additionally, there would be between 1 and 4 floors of office space and 4 floors of residential units that would equate to 72 workforce-priced condos.

However, people are comfortable with high-rises downtown.

“We need to preserve this land. Keep it city land, and keep it enjoyable for residents,” said Gainesville resident Jasper Anderson.

The city commission will be revisiting this topic in August.

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