Biannual Report

Depot Avenue Eco-development Project

 

Depot Designs Presentation

University of Florida College of Architecture Students presented designs on December 10, 1999, at the Matheson Museum for the Depot / South Downtown area including designs for the proposed stormwater park. These designs will be incorporated into an analysis for making recommendations to the City of Gainesville for revitalization in the Depot/South Downtown area to be completed in Summer, 2000. The event was well attended and provided an opportunity for the students to interact with citizens and City Staff about their projects. Thank to all who attended and look for the many opportunities to participate in the projects and planning in the Depot / South Downtown area in the coming months. Please contact Professor Tina Gurucharri, tel: 392-6098, and Professor Kim Tanzer, tel: 392-0215, for more information about the involvement of the College of Architecture in urban planning projects in Gainesville.

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East Gainesville Sprout Project Task Force

The East Gainesville Sprout Task Force (EGSTF) meets the first Tuesday of every month at 4:30 at the GRU Multi-Purpose Room. The EGSTF is the citizen advisory group that addresses issues related to the redevelopment of the proposed Depot Park area at the southeast corner of the intersection of S. Main Street and Depot Avenue and Brownfields redevelopment in Gainesville in general . The next meeting is January 4, 2000 at which project updates will be given. If you live/work in the area or have any interest in the project, please come to the meeting to find out how you can participate. Please contact Matt Dube, Brownfields Coordinator, City of Gainesville, Tel: 334-5029 for more information.

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Old Gainesville Depot Kiosk Design Competition

The Depot Kiosk Design Competition is intended to create a prototype trail shelter / public art sculpture at the proposed Depot Park site along the Depot Avenue Rail Trail. The competition is open to anyone and the deadline for submittal is February 9, 2000. The budget for construction is $5,000 and the winning designer will receive $1,000. The Powell Center for Construction and Environment is working with the City of Gainesville to create this project and it will be constructed by a team of AmeriCorps*NCCC members in March for a ribbon-cutting on April 22, Earth Day. For more information please call Matt Dube, Brownfields Coordinator, City of Gainesville Tel: 334-5029, Brad Guy at 392-7502 or go to the Powell Center for Construction and Environment web site for the time-line and design criteria: http://www.bcn.ufl.edu/sustainable.

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St. Francis House Neighborhood Meetings

The St. Francis House, 413 S. Main Street, hosts meetings once a month on the 4th Saturday of the month at 12:30 pm to discuss the homeless problem in the area and solutions. Neighborhood residents are particularly invited to attend and anyone who is interested in learning about this situation and what St. Francis House does. Please contact Bob Tancig, Director, St. Francis House, Tel: 378-9079 for more information.

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AmeriCorps *NCCC Working in Depot Area

The Powell Center for Construction and Environment and several community partners will be hosting two AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) teams from January to April, 2000 in Gainesville, Florida. Partnering organizations include the Alachua County Housing Authority, Neighborhood Nutrition Network, Neighborhood Coalition – East Gainesville Development Task Force, Community Outreach Partnership, Alachua County Partners for a Productive Community, Mt. Olive / Springhill Neighborhood Group. The AmeriCorps*NCCC teams will assist in the Depot Avenue area with three neighborhood cleanups, Sweetwater Branch and Tumblin Creek clean-ups, construction of the “Depot Kiosk” and help with research and development for alternative solutions to assisting the homeless population in the area.

All are invited to assist in the neighborhood clean-ups: Sugarhill Neighborhood, January 29; Mt. Olive/ Springhill Neighborhood, February 26; and Porters Community, March 18, 2000. The Sweetwater Branch clean-up will occur (TBA) and the Tumblin Creek clean-up will occur (TBA). Please contact Janet Kreischer Tel: 376-6332 for neighborhoods or Stu Pearson, City Public Works Tel: 334-5070 for creeks.

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Depot Design Center

The Depot Design Center will be established as a temporary use for the Old Gainesville Depot in the east-end waiting room building in order to provide aPCCEss to the community and neighborhood residents about planning activities and projects in the area. The Center will house models, drawings, and information about ongoing City, university, and other projects in the Depot/South Downtown area. The design center is expected to open by February 1, 2000 in time for the Historic Gainesville, Inc. (See Pg. 4) tour of the building. Please contact Kim Tanzer Tel: 392-0215 or Brad Guy, Tel: 392-7502 for more information.

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Depot Avenue Neighborhood Grants Program

The Powell Center for Construction and Environment is sponsoring a neighborhood grants program for the neighborhoods that surround the proposed Depot Park, over the next year until December, 2000. The neighborhoods included in the program are the Porters Community, the Depot Neighborhood, the Southeast Historic District, the Mt. Olive / Springhill Neighborhood, and the Sugarhill Neighborhood. For more information contact Janet Kreischer, Tel: 376-6332.

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Mt. Olive/Springhill Neighborhood

The Mt. Olive/Springhill Neighborhood is organizing to take back its neighborhood and wants participation from its residents and neighbors. The Mt. Olive AME is also leading an effort to rehabilitate the “Warehouse” on SE 7th Avenue and SE 9th Street as a community-serving facility. Please contact Vivian Filer Tel: 395-5709 or 376-9956 for more information.

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Tour of The Depot and Porters Community

Historic Gainesville, Inc. is planning a talk on February 7, and a tour on February 12, 2000 in the Porters Community and Depot Neighborhood, including the Kelly Power Plant, and the Baird Center, the Cox Warehouse and the Old Gainesville Depot, which are all within a few blocks of each other in South Downtown. The latter three buildings are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Gainesville Depot will be open with models and drawings of designs for the building and the area for viewing. This building is a symbol of Gainesville’s founding as a railroad transportation hub and is the last significant rail-related structure un-renovated in downtown. Please contact Historic Gainesville, Inc., Tel: 378-2280 for more information or see their website at http://www.afn.org/~hgi/.

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Housing Design Studio

Department of Architecture Housing Studio Professor Kim Tanzer’s will be conducting a housing design studio with students from the Department of Architecture, focusing on the Depot Avenue area, during Spring, 2000. Professor Tanzer has been involved in neighborhood planning involving students and residents in several Gainesville neighborhoods for many years and has been nationally recognized for this work. Tel. 392-0215.

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