Demolition crews will begin work Wednesday morning on the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency’s Power District Catalyst Warehouse and site. The site is located at the former Gainesville Regional Utilities warehouse building just east of the Kelly Power Plant. Once demolition is complete, exterior and interior renovations will begin. The City of Gainesville recently purchased the property and this former GRU building is the first to be converted for private sector use. Officials say the project will transform a prime downtown location into office space that will house Prioria Robotics, Inc., a local technology company. City officials say they hope the Catalyst Project will attract new life and economic opportunities downtown. The timing of this project has been coordinated to occur with other redevelopment efforts including the historic rehabilitation of the Depot Building, the Depot Park project and recently completed improvements to Depot Avenue.
Some Gainesville residents are upset with the construction at Celebration Pointe and the impact the development is having on the native tree population, but Alachua County has a plan to replace the felled trees. Gainesville resident Marion Hylton just hopes those plans are carried out sometime in her lifetime.