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Monday, June 17, 2024

Gainesville City Commission approved the construction of a Tesla car center and a dance cultural center by unanimous decision. 

The Gainesville City Commission voted July 20 to rezone and begin the building process for a Tesla car center and a Dance Alive arts and cultural center. The properties will be located at 2403 NE Fifth Terrace and 3302 NW 39th Ave., respectively.

Reggie Bouthillier, attorney at Stearns Weaver Miller representing owner Clay Thompson, presented the car center plan to the city. The center could see completion as early as next year, Bouthillier said.

“[We] would like to turn dirt as early as November, depending on the site plan approval process with full construction see it by the third quarter of 2024,” Bouthillier said. 

The center, which would take up about five acres in mainly forested property, would mainly service Teslas, though the cars could be purchased there also.

Commissioners found the presentation promising but were concerned with the property’s environmental impact.

District 3 City Commissioner Casey Willits raised concerns about breaking ground on vegetative land instead of using old constructed property, but he remained optimistic about potential new jobs the business would provide. 

“I wish in my perfect world this is where this would be going but this is a conversation about whether this fits into our city plan,” Willits said.

National ballet group, Dance Alive presented its request for the creation of an approximately five-acre building dedicated to hosting a dance studio as well as yoga, pilates, music and theater classes.

Juan Castillo, the planner of sustainable development, presented the approved plans to the city.

The business plan includes a main building including dance, music and art studios as well as a black box theater anticipated to hold 200 people. 

It will also have a separate building designed for storage, and an area dedicated to outdoor activities between the two buildings. 

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Kim Tuttle, artistic director of Dance Alive, was excited and dedicated to the project and the many programs that will come to life within the new building, she said. 

“It could be a true center for the arts for Gainesville,” Tuttle said. 

Mayor Harvey Ward, along with his fellow commissioners, said the center is another way to make Gainesville a landmark for arts and culture. 

The commission agreed there were adequate buffers between the building and the street of traffic, adequate access to public transportation, sidewalks for walkers and bicyclists and adequate use of land for very intentional uses. 

The next Gainesville City Commission meeting is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 3.

Contact Emma Parker at eparker@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @emmaparkerg.

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