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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Welcome to Gainesville, the city of brick built around a beautiful university with historic architecture and a new skyscraper next door. This development is inevitable in a growing city like Gainesville, but right next to the university was not the best place to start the conversion. Some continuity would be nice. On the south side of University Avenue, you have the UF main campus, with its collegiate buildings and carefully planned open areas. On the north side of University Avenue, you have a 10-story modern-style mixed-use apartment building. On the other hand, the UF campus is a major center of activity for a great deal of the Gainesville population. It makes perfect sense to increase development next to the university: Students want to live close, and people who are in the area for work want to be able to pick up some things. While I dislike the idea of changing the skyline around the university, I must admit that if the city is going to continue to grow, then this type of development must occur. However, this should have started a block or two away from campus, and then, over the years, be allowed to creep closer to campus. That way, people get a chance to acclimate to the different skyline. I think this project had good intentions but poor timing for the location.

Austin Rankin is a UF undergraduate.

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