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Why Gainesville’s New Fire Station Will Force Art Businesses To Relocate

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Mike Myers, co-founder of the Repurpose Project and founder of Bearded Brothers Solutions, a building deconstruction nonprofit, outside of the Repurpose Project’s building, 519 S. Main St.
Mike Myers, co-founder of the Repurpose Project and founder of Bearded Brothers Solutions, a building deconstruction nonprofit, outside of the Repurpose Project’s building, 519 S. Main St.

A new fire station will replace the site that houses three Gainesville businesses near the 500 block of South Main Street in the growing downtown art district.

The Gainesville City Commission approved the approximately $1 million purchase of the land to use as the new site for Fire Station No. 1.

The Repurpose Project, Everyman Sound Company and The Church of Holy Colors will have until December 2014 to move.

Mike Myers, one of the owners of the Repurpose Project, said he is sad to go because his nonprofit has had a lot of business since it opened, and it probably will not be able to return to the downtown area.

“For a year and a half, we’ve been in the right place but at the wrong time,” Myers said.

Peter Theoktisto, owner of Everyman Sound Company, said he does not mind moving.

Theoktisto said he will break even on costs and will get a better location that does not need repairs like the current building does.

The purchase is not final until the city gets results of environmental testing on the property.

Morgan Falcon and Chip Skambis contributed reporting.

About Viana Bhagan

Viana is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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  • Christopher L. Fillie

    This is a far more complicated (and interesting) story than has been currently covered, involing many more stakeholders and sensitive moving parts There is still a chance that this deal could be a blessing in disguise for our community if the city opens opportinities for us to inhabit its many Power District properties. Regardless, this was the decision of the owners to sell, despite our best laid plans (from shipping container live-work studio spaces to micro-retail) we could not find the financing ourselves. Given that someone at this point was going to buy this, the City was the next best choice and should continue to be good neighbors. Perhaps they will give us a shot at the old fire station? That would make a fantastic arts and innivation hub… With every crisis, opportunity.