UF officials are still debating the future of the corner of 13th Street and West University Avenue.
The UF Board of Trustees and UF President Kent Fuchs are considering options on what to build on the corner directly across from campus.
The .4-acre property was bought by the UF Foundation in August 2016, according to Alligator archives. Leonardo’s Pizza By the Slice restaurant, at 1245 W University Ave., and Bistro 1245, will be forced to close when a plan is finalized. The foundation already owns the next door Kangaroo Express gas station, which doubles as a convenience store.
UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said the university is considering a number of options, including a new music building or fitness center. A proposal for seven-floor international center by nonprofit organization Sister City Program for Gainesville was never considered by the university.
UF does not have an official announcement date scheduled and does not know when Leonardo’s will be forced to close, Orlando said. Leonardo’s and Bistro, which are owned by Steve Solomon, remain open to this day.
Although the University has not made any concrete decisions, community and student engagement are important factors under consideration, UF spokesperson Margot Winick said.
“It’s a very important piece of real estate when you think about the location and how it faces the community,” Winick said. “Whatever it turns out to be, how would it engage with the community is part of our strategic development plan.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly misspelled Margot Winick's last name. It is spelled Winick, not Winnick.