Plan by county, city leaders could bring more development to East Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- A plan by county and city leaders in North Central Florida Could bring positive changes to East Gainesville.

Monday night, Alachua County and Gainesville Commissioners agreed to a $70 million 10 year plan that could give more funding opportunities for East Gainesville.
Some residents say this could bring new life to an area that really needs it.

East Gainesville is an area of town some residents say is tucked away from the rest of the city.

“There’s more amenities out there, there’s better education, there’s better financial services, there’s better emergency care so these are things out west has and amenities need to come out east,” Julius Long, a community activist, said.
Long lives in East Gainesville and is the owner of Lil-Afrika, a community resource center on 8th avenue.

“There’s so many people who need a change, they need right now, something they could look forward to,” he said.

Alachua County and Gainesville City Commissioners have agreed to a new plan that could bring more development to East Gainesville.

Developments, like the Heartwood Neighborhood in East Gainesville, are funded by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency.

“We’re trying to push people to live east but why you gonna come and live east for? What are you coming out here to do, why you coming out here to thrive? How are you going to survive?” Long said.

This new plan would pool together the CRA's four districts into one district allowing $70 million to be put toward the district that needs it over a span of ten years.

“It does sunset in ten years, instead of being just an open-ended thing, we decided that there's a sense of urgency to getting this done,” Harvey Ward, Gainesville City Commissioner District 2, said.

City and county leaders plan to meet again within the next few months to sign the final agreement on this plan.