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The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency has committed to transforming NW 1stAvenue, otherwise known as "the street behind University Avenue," into a safe place that patrons of Gainesville can reconnect with. Great news for students renting apartments in Midtown, these four blocks will be made safer, more spacious, environmentally friendly, and more visually appealing. The Midtown area is a popular location for student seeking to rent apartments near the University of Florida, so we're ecstatic to see these new changes coming to the area.
Bigger sidewalks with additional streetlights will make for better visibility at all hours of the day and night. There will be more parking spaces added, making it a breeze to park on NW 1stAvenue via meter, decal, or Gainesville's mobile parking app. Spaces for scooter parking and new bike racks will be available as well. New trees are being planted for better shade and walkability, and the amount of trash bins will increase from two to eight along with the introduction of recycling bins along the street. Finally, public art and improved exterior of stores and buildings will add more curb appeal.
Some additional improvements included are undergrounding overhead utilities, upgrading the water service, relocating pedestrians and dumpsters off the street, establishing proper dumpster enclosures, and many businesses in Midtown are updating their exterior as a part of the project. Local business owners have been invited to meet with the architectural team to create renderings of their shopfront and are being invited to participate in a program that will help fund renovation.
5 Midtown Changes Improving Life for Students Renting Near UF
- With the addition of street parking for cars, bikes and scooters, students will be able to find space to easily park when they're headed to campus, eliminating the emotional stress often induced when trying to find a parking space before class or an exam.
- The additional streetlights and new brick cross walks will increase visibility for students who frequently walk through the Midtown area on their way from their apartments to class. This will make for a safer neighborhood, creating a greater sense of community and removing the fear associated with walking home after a night out.
- Another improvement that this new project will bring to students living in Midtown is the addition of four times the amount of existing trash bins. Prior to construction, there were a total of two trash bins with no recycling available, and beginning in Fall 2017, there will eight trash and recycling stations located along the Avenue. This provides students who live in the area with more convenient locations to dispose of their trash and recyclable garbage, cutting the time that it takes to walk to the dumpster on a hot summer day by half.
- With the addition of 50 new shade trees along the streets, students can look forward to a breezy walk to campus. The average temperature in Florida during the summer is a sweltering 90 degrees, often making the walk to class a dreadful, sweaty experience. However, the increased number of shade trees will result in an enjoyable, leisurely stroll from your apartment to campus.
- Finally, an increase in public art and improvements to curb appeal will bring a new experience to students and patrons of the Midtown area. Upgrades to the exterior of locally owned businesses will create a fun and friendly environment for students to spend their free time.
These changes coming in Fall 2017 to Midtown will undoubtedly improve the living experience of students and Gainesville residents in the area. The Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency is committed to elevating Midtown by making it more spacious, environmentally friendly, safer, and more fun for students to reconnect with.
Sidewalks, Parking, & Construction Closures Map
Road closure from July to September. Traffic accommodations will be made for residents and service vehicles.
All images are courtesy of More in Midtown / Gainesville CRA.