With its slate-gray stripes, towering cypress trees and cascading bio-swales, Southwest Ninth Street stands out as Innovation Square’s signature corridor.
The roadway caught the eye of industry leaders too – Southwest Ninth Street was recognized as the state’s 2015 Project of the Year in the under $5 million transportation category by the Florida chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Led by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the Southwest Ninth Street and Southwest Third Avenue project opened to the public in summer 2014. The corridor laid the groundwork for Innovation Square’s utility grid and public access; nearly 1,471 linear feet of new streets, utility infrastructure and greenspace was installed.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts at the state level, and to see the community truly embrace this project as their own,” said Gainesville CRA Director Anthony Lyons. “The intersection has already become a stage for karate practices, metal sculpture exhibitions, job fairs, food truck rallies and more.”
The streets will take on increasingly more personality in the coming months.They bisect the 16-acre lot where community leaders plan to bridge the University of Florida’s main campus and downtown Gainesville with a vibrant research park. Signet Development’s adjoining five-story, $23 million entrepreneurial residence hall will provide dorm space for 308 students when it opens in August 2015.
Innovation Square roadways partners include the University of Florida, UF Health, the City of Gainesville Public Works Department, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Oelrich Construction, Perkins + Will, JBrown Professional Group, CHW, Brentwood, CRA board, College Park/University Heights advisory board and many more private-public partners.