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$53M of retail, restaurants, housing, offices coming to downtown Gainesville
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Brian Daniel discusses plans for a development in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Carlos Galarza/The Times

Downtown Gainesville is about to undergo a $53 million makeover.

City officials announced Tuesday night that they are turning over two public parking lots that will be developed into mixed-use properties by Carroll Daniel Construction and Knight Commercial Real Estate LLC.

Brian Daniel said he expects to break ground later this year on a $12 million office building at a parking lot on Main Street and Jesse Jewell.

Daniel said the 60,000-square-foot facility will be anchored by Carroll Daniel Construction and its 150 employees. He said the company has outgrown its headquarters at 921 Athens St., and will occupy about 23,000 square feet at the new building.

“It’s incredible to see how much activity is going on right now in this community,” Daniel said. “This community has put years of thought and planning into the redevelopment of its downtown and midtown districts. It’s great to see that vision coming alive so quickly.”

Tim Knight and his company will invest another $16 million in a project with 15,000 square feet of street level retail and restaurants on the south quadrant of the downtown square with approximately 40 luxury condominiums for sale with prices starting in the $300,000 price range. He expects to break ground in the first quarter of 2018.

Knight and Co. also will invest $25 million at the old Greater South lot at Jesse Jewell and Maple Street. The project includes 30,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space with about 150 market-rate apartments for rent above.

“We feel like these future residents will be able to walk to everything they need,” Knight said. “The time is right for both of these projects. We’re very excited about getting started. We’re thankful to the city for giving us this opportunity.”

Brad Johnson and Jim Blankenship are on the development team with Knight on the two projects.

“We’re more than excited,” Mayor Danny Dunagan said at the announcement following Tuesday’s city council meeting at the public safety complex. “This is a wonderful day for the future of our city. We have been waiting a decade for this news, and I have to say it was worth it.”

City Manager Bryan Lackey said city officials looked at four proposals before deciding on Carroll Daniel and Knight Commercial.

“There aren’t many companies that could pull off multiple projects like this,” Lackey said.