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Saturday, September 25, 2021

High budget quotes delay train depot renovation

It may cost $1.5 to $2.3 million to reconstruct Gainesville's historic Depot building, a long-term city project located just south of downtown.

But Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan, who has been a long-term proponent of the project, said its price was too steep at a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting Monday.

Burke Bender, of Bender & Associates Architects, provided the estimate.

"I think it's a little crazy to spend $2.3 million to reconstruct a depot building that cost us $80,000," Hanrahan said.

The money would go toward restoring Gainesville's oldest train depot, and the large price tag includes money-saving sustainability standards, Bender said.

While she hopes to cut the project's budget, Hanrahan still believes it is worthwhile.

"Purchasing and investing in the Depot is an excellent investment," she said. "Gainesville was actually formed as a hub on the rail line, which was key to the development of the state of Florida."

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