University of Florida leaders, alongside developers, investors and community members, gathered Oct. 13 for the groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of 800 Second at Innovation Square.
The building, at the corner of SW 2nd Ave. and SW 8th St., across the street from UF’s Innovation Hub technology incubator, is slated to offer 55,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office, collaboration and retail space, and will serve as a place for technology and innovation ventures to grow and flourish.
The building is a collaboration between the University of Florida, local developer Concept Companies and Atlanta developer Gateway Development Services. Gateway has been involved in Atlanta’s Technology Square – one of the models behind Innovation Square in Gainesville.
“The Concept/Gateway development team offers the right blend of local market knowledge and national expertise to deliver this unique, innovative building that will help the University collaborate with private industry to commercialize our discoveries and recruit national and global companies who want to locate by campus to hire our graduates,” said Lee Nelson, director of the University of Florida Office of Real Estate.
Following remarks from a number of stakeholders in the project, Nelson and UF Senior Vice President and COO Charlie Lane wielded shovels with representatives from Concept, Gateway and planning firm Perkins and Will as they broke ground at the future location of the building.
“This area has long been significant to the Gainesville community,” Lane said at the ceremony. “I’m happy to report that this area – the Innovation District – will now even better continue to serve the Gainesville community by promoting innovation and research that will reach well beyond our borders and lifetimes.”
Lane said he wouldn’t be surprised if Innovation Square in Gainesville is mentioned alongside Technology Square in Atlanta or Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts in coming decades. He said both are fantastic examples of how a university and city can work together to attract business and new ideas.
800 Second at Innovation Square is expected to be completed in late summer 2018.