After some success transforming the area between the University of Florida and downtown Gainesville, the city is hoping to push the wave of improvements farther east.
Four infrastructure projects are in the works.
The focus may seem to be on nice roadways, but the city hopes that’s a stepping stone to a better quality of life for nearby neighborhoods. Gainesville is targeting $20 million for eastside infrastructure — like road and sidewalk improvements. The hope is to attract more people to move into the area.
But people already living here wonder if repaving and roundabouts will change anything.
“Instead of looking at what you can build to bring more people,” Dengelo Smith said, “look at what you can actually do for the people that are already here.”
He’s lived on Gainesville’s east side for 25 years.
“Infrastructure will help, but it won’t help the people that are already in a tragedy-type place that need help.”
The four road projects are Depot Avenue, South Main Street, SE 4th street and South 6th Street. The city knows this isn’t the only answer, but says it’s a start.
“Some of the aspects that we hope will raise property value, bring people to move to the east side of Gainesville and then also show businesses that we are focused on the east side of Gainesville,” Chip Skinner, city spokesman, said.
More businesses would mean more jobs and more opportunity. Future plans to increase transportation options are also in the works.
Three projects will be complete by the end of this year, and the fourth should be done by 2019.