University Corners Back on the Agenda for City Commission

By Caitlyn Finnegan

University Corners, the mixed-use development of apartments, retail space and hotel planned for the corner of Northwest 13th Street and University Avenue, is back on the City Commission’s agenda Thursday afternoon in what could be the developer’s last attempt to increase development thresholds.

On hold since commissioners voted to delay their decision in May, the property’s developer, Miami-Dade based Swerdlow Group, is prepared to present a new development plan after a series of four meetings between locals and Swerdlow representatives.

Swerdlow’s alternative plan includes shifting certain thresholds and design changes that will address concerns over its massive size and traffic impact on the area. The 1.3 million-square-foot footprint of the building will be broken into three separate buildings, with elevated pedestrian bridges to allow for easy access to each of the sites.

Swerdlow kept its request for approval of 500 apartments, a 1,200-space parking garage and a supermarket on the ground floor of the development the same.

Also back on the agenda is the need for a change in food truck ordinances.

Food truck vendors had a chance to speak with the Community Development Committee in late May about current barriers to establishing mobile food vending options, leading city staff to reconsider existing regulations. The commission will vote on a motion to try using special event permitting for weekly operations of food trucks, a new method that will undergo a year-long pilot program in the central city district if approved.

The commission will also approve a request to schedule an Energy Workshop hosted by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce for July 17. The workshop is set to be held at the Alachua Senior Recreation Center.

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