Construction on downtown’s eagerly-awaited, 32-acre Depot Park will begin next week. Named after the 1860s-era train station that served as Gainesville’s main railroad hub for 60 years, the urban park will showcase the city’s cultural heritage.
This $5.9 million park construction phase will include: a football-field sized children’s play area with a Sweetwater Branch Creek-themed splash pad; a water’s edge promenade designed to host food truck rallies, art galleries, festivals and more; outdoor grills and picnic pavilions; dramatic entry features; nature trails and more.
This current phase of development, led by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and managed by Oelrich Construction, will employ 17 subcontracting firms and create more than 115 jobs. The completed park will open to the public in fall 2016. Project financing was supplemented by a mixture of federal, state and regional grants. The park design team includes JBrown Professional Group, JOLA, Inc., Bender & Associates, John Searcy & Associates and Southard Engineering.
“Depot Park will be Gainesville’s next major landmark,” said Gainesville CRA Interim Director Sarah Vidal-Finn. “The park is catalyzing downtown economic growth, preserving local history, restoring critical ecological systems, supporting arts and education, providing prime recreational opportunities for families and adding to our city’s overall quality of life. We’re excited for the future and grateful for the many partners that have contributed to this effort over the years.”