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Gainesville Renaissance breaking ground soon on 'fourth side of the square’
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Original renderings of the Gainesville Renaissance project show what the new pocket park, seen just to the left of the new development, could look like.

The mixed-use Gainesville Renaissance development on the Spring Street side of Gainesville’s downtown square will break ground Sept. 16, bringing residential space to the square along with a new space for Brenau University. 

The development, set to be complete in winter 2021, will have 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground level, 20,000 square feet of office space on the second level and eight condominiums on the third level, developers say. A small park will also be located between Gainesville Renaissance and the Hall County Courthouse.  

Brenau’s Lynn J. Darby School of Psychology and Adolescent Counseling will move in to the second floor of the space. The new school will be the third health science program in downtown Gainesville, joining the Department of Physical Therapy and the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. 

“This project not only complements the Gainesville we know today but is a reflection of the city’s ongoing efforts to be an innovative community in which to live, work, learn and play. Gainesville Renaissance will be as purposeful as it is beautiful,” Mayor Danny Dunagan said in a statement. “I’m confident this mixed-use development will draw even more visitors to downtown. We believe strongly Gainesville Renaissance will be a feather in the city’s cap.” 

The parking lot located at the site of the development, along Spring Street in front of the downtown parking deck, will close Sunday, Sept. 13, according to a city news release. While the lot is privately owned, it has been open for public parking for several years. 

City officials say motorists planning to patronize downtown restaurants and retailers should use the downtown parking deck, marked spaces on the square and side streets feeding into the square. 

Roddy Properties CEO Fred Roddy will develop the project on the half-acre lot purchased in summer 2019 by Doug Ivester, Gainesville native and former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. 

Robertson Loia Roof is the architect and Gainesville-based Carroll Daniel Construction will build the project. 

“Our plans are complete and permitted,” Roddy said in a statement. “We are focused on using Gainesville subcontractors and vendors whenever possible. This is a development for and by the community.” 

Another mixed-use development, Parkside on the Square, had been planned for the lot but fell through in 2019. Ivester and Roddy soon after stepped in with plans for the Gainesville Renaissance development. 

Gainesville Renaissance will receive nearly $3 million in funding from Gainesville’s Midtown Tax Allocation District, which allows developers to use property tax payments toward the development itself.