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Wednesday, December 06, 2023

You see it every day: chain-link fences and green tarp on one of Gainesville's most-viewed corners.

That's quite an eyesore we've got at West University Avenue and 13th Street - and it probably ain't going anywhere any time soon.

So while one of the most valuable pieces of property in Gainesville collects dust, legal battles prevent University Corners from beginning construction. Until the Florida Supreme Court decides how to apply the outcome of Strand v. Escambia County, nothing is going to happen.

The court ruled that it is illegal to spread tax incentives for developers over a period longer than a year, but now it must decide if it applies to the whole state.

If it does, Gainesville is up a creek, because it was planning to give University Corners ,98 million over 20 years. Right now, the property is too expensive for former tenants who hope to move back in if the project is ever complete.

People who had planned on buying condominiums in the development are taking their names off lists.

Something needs to happen, and fast. We cannot afford to let that space sit, empty and desolate, like it has for almost a year.

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