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Slowed by rain, midtown housing development rises
Model townhome should be ready after Labor Day
Crews frame townhomes Monday afternoon between rain showers. The 45-unit project is expected to be completed by the end of the year on the 4-acre tract.

Despite above average rainfall in May that curtailed construction activity, development of the Enclave townhomes in midtown Gainesville are getting off the ground and a model could be ready for showing sometime after Labor Day in September.

A spokesman for developers Steve McKibbon and Robbie Robison said more progress would have been made by now if not for the rain.

“Only about half of the framing has been done,” said John Vardeman. “They’ve been slowed down by the rain.”

Nonetheless, the developers remain hopeful to have the project completed before the end of the year, Vardeman said.

“There will be a model home after Labor Day in September,” he said.

The project by McKibbon-Robison has been on the radar of many since it was announced in mid-March.

To make room for the 45 townhouses within a 4-acre quadrant bordered by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Davis, Pine and Willis streets, the developers demolished 13 dilapidated houses that were being rented out.

Eager to see more than $6 million invested to redevelop a spot deemed an eyesore because of the rundown properties there, Gainesville city officials were all too happy to offer McKibbon-Robison up to $769.058 that the developers requested through Tax Allocation District financing.

City officials said tax revenues generated by the project once completed would raise much more for revitalization than the disbursements made to developers to reimburse them for certains costs — such as demolition and grading.

Vardeman said the announcement last month of three mixed-used projects coming to downtown Gainesville has been well received by McKibbon-Robison.

“They are excited that all this is coming together,” Vardeman said. “This is all good news.”

The three downtown projects with a total investment of more than $53 million would not change the market rate for midtown development, Vardeman said. He said McKibbon-Robison do not anticipate there being any change because it’s two different markets.

“You got more of an upper income professional that wants to live downtown versus (the Midtown) project that will be away from the downtown,” Vardeman said.

McKibbon and Robison are still formulating rates, and will take into consideration construction costs and schedule before they unveil what the rents will be at the townhouses — which will be two-story, three bedrooms and two baths.  

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