"Midtown" usually refers to the area surrounding the University of Florida campus north of University Ave. It extends from NW 34th Street to NW 6th St. and up from University Avenue until you get to 8th Avenue. This area of town is student-central; you could call it the heart of Gainesville. Students frequent this area in between classes or study sessions at Library West to grab lunch from the strip's many restaurants, for happy hour to celebrate passed exams, and to find the best tailgate parties on game day.
Students at UF will spend much of their time in Midtown already, so living here makes sense. For years, this area has been targeted to everything UF – the Gators play right across the street, and students can be seen making their way across W. University to and from class all day. There are tons of great wallet-friendly places to eat and drink, plus lots of rental options for students, from new, larger apartment complexes to duplexes and single-family houses. Midtown feeds right into downtown Gainesville, so you can quickly get to the downtown scene by bus, bike, or even on foot.
Midtown is Under Development
A quick drive through Midtown will reveal that huge changes are underway. For decades, the storefronts and shops in Midtown have remained constant with long-time Gainesville staples like Pita Pit, Relish, and more peppering this strip north of campus. Recently, Midtown is experiencing a true renaissance and new development is booming. According to the Gainesville Sun, UF plans to work with developers and the city throughout the process, "...with an eye toward making Gainesville a pre-eminent city for a pre-eminent university."
The Innovation District
One of the most notable developments is the rise of the Innovation District. This "neighborhood" in Midtown has emerged as a hub to connect enterprise level institutions with fast growing start-ups to collaborate, foster entrepreneurial creativity, and grow innovative products and services all with the unique support the Gainesville community can provide. This district has become a desirable "live, work, play" area with incredible spaces for business, recreation, and cutting edge apartment homes for students, professionals, and the Gainesville community to grow and explore.
Student Apartments in Midtown
Historically, Midtown has been known for quaint older rental homes and apartments, and students had to make the decision to trade luxury for Midtown's location right next to campus. The new development in Midtown has made the area attractive for brand new apartment communities, and we are seeing new apartment construction along the north and east side of UF campus.(Clockwise from top left): Library West sign facing W. University Avenue, Gator Wesley Foundation, Historic buildings at UF, Swamp Restaurant, Grateful Dead mural at Gator Beverage, The Social at Midtown bar.
Things to Consider
Parking is a major consideration. Make sure your apartment has some kind of parking option if you have a car, or contact the City of Gainesville to inquire about parking on the street. You might not need a car – especially if you like to eat out, although if you're looking for more shopping, you'll have to head to Archer Rd. or The Oaks Mall.
Gator game days are a major attraction in this part of town, too, so plan to be surrounded by literally thousands of visitors on game day. If you choose an apartment in Midtown, you will likely be able to hear the roar of the stadium from your front patio when the Gators score a touchdown. Living within walking distance to the stadium is a true Gator experience, your friends are going to be begging to come park at your apartment and tailgate on game day.
How to Get to School
Getting to school is easy; a simple walk, bike or bus ride (if it's raining) should do the trick. A number of buses service only the UF campus (look for routes #117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 125, 126) and other city routes have stops on or near campus (routes #1, 8, 13, 16, 17, 29, 34. 43 and more). The routes you'll most likely use are the 5 (which runs east and west on University from the mall to downtown) and the 8 (which runs up and down 13th Street).
Obviously, the University of Florida takes the cake in this part of town. Major on-campus destinations like Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the O'Connell Center (for performances, sports, conventions, etc.) and the Constans Theater next to the Reitz Union (UF's student union) are a short walk away. You'll also love being central to UF's Student Recreation and Fitness Center, the 2nd largest student fitness center on campus. Membership is included with UF enrollment and students get in with their Gator ID, so be sure to make use of this great facility!
Midtown is great for all sorts of food on the go, plus some great sports bars. Try Pita Pit and Relish (tasty pitas, burgers, smoothies), Mochi (innovative frozen yogurt) or one of the new bars along the strip.These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.