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These restaurants to join new Parkside on the Square as downtown construction continues
09252018 PARKING 5
Cranes rise above downtown Gainesville along Main Street in Gainesville, which is shut down as of Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, after a few months of preparation for additions to the downtown parking deck, right, and construction of Carroll Daniel Construction’s new headquarters, left.

Two restaurants and a confectioneries shop have agreed to lease space in the street-level, retail portion of Parkside on the Square planned in downtown Gainesville.

The new businesses are La Parrilla Cantina,  Kilwins and Tropical Smoothie Café, developer Tim Knight said Tuesday, Oct. 2.

La Parrilla, which has a restaurant in the Publix-anchored shopping center off Winder and Atlanta highways in Oakwood, will occupy a 5,000-square-foot space. The Mexican food chain has restaurants across the South.

Tropical Smoothie Café, a national chain that serves sandwiches, flatbreads and wraps in addition to smoothies, has a 1,500-square-foot store reserved.

And Kilwins, which has 125 locations nationwide, is the third store, with plans to open a 1,300-square-foot location. The business offers homemade fudge, chocolate candies and ice cream.

In all, Parkside will have six retail sites.

Knight said he has “a letter of intent” on the fourth space.

“We’re negotiating with (the retailer). It’ll probably be toward the end of the year before I have them signed to a lease,” he said.

Knight didn’t disclose the name of that business but said it is a 2,000-square-foot bakery.

He is looking to fill two remaining sites — one that is 1,300 square feet and the other, 4,100 square feet.

As for the smaller space, “I’m looking at all different kinds of uses for it,” Knight said. “It could be a boutique, a wine shop or something else.”

The larger space at Main and Spring streets is being eyed as a sit-down restaurant.

“We’re shooting for a really good lunch and dinner place, with a nice bar service,” Knight said.

Overall, with the six sites, “we’re trying to blend in (downtown) but trying our best not to bring in duplicate concepts, as much as we can,” Knight said. “I want them to be complementary concepts that we don’t have on the market.”

As for the four residential floors above the retail portion, Parkside will feature 32 condominiums, with pre-construction prices ranging from $440,900 to $599,900 for the prime penthouses, according to Parkside’s website.

Knight said 14 units have been pre-sold, but bank financing for the project requires 16 before construction can start.

He said he’s close to reaching 16.

“We’re working as hard as we can to get started as soon as we can,” Knight said.

Construction could take 14 months.

“We’ll probably be able turn over the retail space a little sooner than that,” Knight said.

When done, the building will complete four sides of the square. Public parking now occupies the fourth side.

Downtown’s makeover also includes construction of a four-story, $12 million building, anchored by Carroll Daniel’s new headquarters, at Main and Jesse Jewell. The building, slated to be done in June, also will be open for retail, restaurant and office space.

Cranes are up around the 410-space Main Street parking deck, as workers are adding 180 new spaces.

The deck is scheduled to reopen in late November. Main Street between Jesse Jewell Parkway and Spring Street closed to traffic Sept. 19, and is expected to reopen in late November.

Sidewalks on Main Street will stay open so people can access businesses.

One of the cranes is parked in front of The Collegiate Grill on Main

“We’re taking a beating,” owner Jeff Worley said of the work’s impact. “It has had a tremendous impact on our volume.”

The restaurant has adjusted its hours during construction so that it is now open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Looking ahead, however, “we’re very optimistic about the end result,” Worley said.

Downtown improvements are “going to be tremendous for everybody here on the square,” he said. “It’s going to introduce a new demographic and a whole lot more foot traffic.”