Project Name: Innovation
: Leo Alvarez, FASLA - Perkins + Will
B. Dixon, AICP – Associate Director, Facilities Planning and Construction
Ed Poppell – President, University of Florida
Square is an urban redevelopment project that will transform twelve
underutilized blocks in Midtown Gainesville into a mixed-use urban research
neighborhood that advances the national and global profile of the city’s
largest employer—the University of Florida with its medical center, Shands
Hospital at UF—and the growing local biotech industry.
the internally focused suburban research parks of the previous decades,
Innovation Square aligns the goals of the City of Gainesville and the
University of Florida to create a livable, walkable, adaptable and sustainable
urban research district that gives Gainesville a competitive edge in attracting
and retaining the best minds and companies in research. The Visioning process
for the District has set in place lasting partnerships between public and
private stakeholders to ensure successful implementation.
DNA for the District’s development has been codified in a series of public
documents, including a new zoning designation, that are distinguished by their
clarity of concept and presentation. The new regulations place an emphasis on
an enhanced public realm as the unifying element within the District. Buildings
are required to engage the street. Parking lots are discouraged or placed
The regulations set forth requirements within the public
realm for tree spacing, building relationship to the street, vehicular and
pedestrian access as well as ground floor architectural requirements.
Additional tools for implementation include the Development Framework and Development
Guidelines books as well as high level reviews of the infrastructure needs, transportation
opportunities and proposed landscape ordinances.
plan has six organizing elements; districts, grid, greenway, streets, parking
and uses. The layering of these elements creates a rich urban fabric
distinguishing Innovation Square from other research based communities within
the country. The Greenway is the principal physical organizing structure within
Innovation Square. It is the binding element and central focal point within the
It creates a pedestrian connection between the active northern
mixed-use section of the district and southern, predominately residential and
recreational edges of the district. It is a series of varying gathering spaces
such as squares, plazas, parks, and streets; all for researchers, residents and
visitors to interact and collaborate. Plazas
promote activity; streets allow for accessibility; squares encourage
assemblies; while parks allow for reflection.
The greenway connects to the
individual building lobbies, commercial uses, research labs and other active
ground floor uses, all in the service of promoting collaboration and collision.
The central square will allow for informal gatherings as well as large events. The
greenway also addresses a significant stormwater initiative within the
district. The infrastructure system in the greenway allows stormwater to be
addressed before entering the underground system with varying integrated water
quality measures, as well as provides an armature for experimentation in water
quality and quantity mitigation initiatives.
redevelopment provides new pedestrian and bicycle connections within an
enhanced public realm between UF, Downtown and the surrounding historic
neighborhoods, with a proposed district shuttle, primary school, and a
neighborhood retail street aiming to serve the projected growth by 3.7 million
sf and 8,000 new residents and workers.
The phased development of the District has begun
on a mega-block formerly housing the Alachua County Hospital, which is divided
into four contextual blocks centered on the Greenway. The first science and
technology focused building, Innovation Hub, opened in January 2012. The
proposed Infusion Center along with the first phase of the Greenway are under
design development and are targeting completion for late fall of 2014.
Design Team /
Managing Principal : David Green AIA, LEED AP - Principal - Perkins + Will
/ Design Principal: Leo Alvarez,
FASLA, CLARB, LEED AP – Principal
Design Team /
Project Manager: Geoff Boyd, ASLA,
LEED BD+C - Senior Urban Designer
- Perkins + Will
Client Team: Bradley S.
Pollitt, AIA - Vice President,
Facilities - Shands Healthcare
Redevelopment Agency Representative: Kelly Huard Fisher - Interim Director -
Community Redevelopment Agency