Good in Gainesville: Businesses break ground in Alachua

Gainesville skyline

A new season is upon us here in North Central Florida. With spring, we celebrate renewal and growth, making it the perfect time to reflect on what’s good in our community right now.

Our vision at the Greater Gainesville Chamber is to build our region into a global hub of talent, innovation, and opportunity. We advance that vision by facilitating economic opportunity, business success, and community progress. A key component is to diversify our business ecosystem, which helps provide the good jobs needed for our neighbors to realize their dreams.

Over the last six months or so, the City of Alachua—the Good Life Community—has truly lived up to its tagline when it comes to bringing home these diversified new businesses. Just this month, G&C Foods broke ground on its second distribution facility here. Its new 250,000-square-foot facility includes more than 100,000-square-feet of refrigerator and freezer space, with room to double in size in the future. At one point in time, G&C was sending more than 15 trucks a day from Syracuse, NY, to Florida, which is why a Southern expansion was pivotal to its continued expansion success.

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One of our community’s longstanding property insurers, Tower Hill Insurance, broke ground on a new headquarters out in Alachua in December last year. The 65,000-square-foot, two-story building will house 300 of the company’s 500-plus employees. They chose our community for this expansion over Palm Beach Gardens and Lexington, Kentucky, and we could not be happier about that. Their new home should be ready any time now.

Lane Enterprises, a stormwater pipe manufacturer, broke ground in the Alachua Commerce Center late last summer. The company has 17 other locations with over 450 employees across the nation, but this will be its first Florida plant. The 33-acre site in the Alachua Commerce Center should create 60 jobs in the next five years, with an estimated annual payroll of $1 million. Lane also expects its capital investment in Alachua to reach $35 million dollars in the same five years.

Momentum Labs, our biotech hub in Alachua, continues to fulfill its mission to surround science entrepreneurs with the resources they need to advance their life-changing research and technology. Momentum, alongside UF Innovate/Sid Martin Biotech Incubator and 30 other companies, make up The Progress District, which is also home to the Santa Fe College Perry Center for Science & Technology, where they focus on everything workforce development. I am in awe of the ground-breaking innovations these entrepreneurs and educators are bringing to our community and our world every day.

As we continue to catapult into a more prosperous future, we celebrate these expanded opportunities for all who choose to call our great community home and look forward to even more in the months to come.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of business columns sponsored by Pavlov Media.