When this year’s college freshmen begin their senior year in Fall 2017, the Gainesville landscape will be home to a new kind of tourist hub – a retail, restaurant, residential and office space all-in-one that will be known as Celebration Pointe.
The 1-million-square-foot, mixed-use project has been in development since 2010, with recent leasing partnerships adding momentum to the development’s grand opening.
This week, Gainesville-based consulting and software company Info Tech announced its new headquarters will be moved to the Celebration Pointe development site.
The company joins Bass Pro Shops, Regal Cinemas and Hotel Indigo as the newest partner to take up residence at the site, which will be located at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Archer Road.
Valerie Riley, senior manager of marketing and communications for Info Tech, said the company, which has been in business for 37 years, has been considering moving to a new facility for last 15.
The move from its current space at the Florida Farm Bureau building will give the company an additional 15,000 square feet of space — up to 60,000 from 45,000 — to grow the 200-employee business.
“It’s going to help us recruit and retain the best talent if we have a facility where people can access retail, restaurants and nature trails right from our building,” Riley said.
The added space will allow Info Tech to customize its offices to accommodate the needs of employees, many of whom are also excited for the close proximity to retail and restaurants that aren’t available at the current location, Riley said.
Work to prepare the new headquarters began in August, and developers expect to break ground in spring 2015.
It will be one piece in a Celebration Pointe site that promises to be geared toward sustainability and ease of transit, said Ralph Conti, a partner in the project’s development.
The Archer Braid Trail will connect Celebration Pointe to the Lake Kanapaha Conservation Area — a 100-acre portion of land that was donated to the west side of the project — the Split Rock Conservation Area and a bridge that will go over I-75 and link the site to Butler Plaza.
“We are sort of the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle,” Conti said.
Parking will be located at the perimeters of the Celebration Pointe site, but the common area will be environment-, pedestrian- and biker-friendly, he said. Bus routes will also connect Celebration Pointe to other spots in the city, including UF.
Conti said he also expects the luxury reservation theater to be another major draw. Regal theater guests will be able to reserve their reclining seats ahead of time and have a cocktail or snack from the lounge during the movie.
“It’ll be like being at home,” he said. “It will be the only luxury-seating theater in the Gainesville-Ocala market.”
Conti said he hopes the full Celebration Pointe center will provide guests with a one-stop shop for their dining, retail and recreation needs.
“That does not exist in this market,” he said. “We are going to create a different atmosphere.”