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.
Many small business owners in Gainesville are facing similar decisions as businesses are allowed to reopen according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Plan for Florida’s Recovery. Since locally owned businesses do not have oversight from parent companies, decisions regarding how business will run during the pandemic falls to the individual owners.