Developments at Innovation Square are feeding growth in various industries in the local economy. The activity of new companies moving to the technology community is creating spending at local businesses.
“On any given day, usually someone from the Feathr team eats out around the area,” said Feathr co-founder and CEO Aidan Augustin. Feathr is a notable tenant of the Florida Innovation Hub, the first building in Innovation Square, that secured a $150,000 grant to develop a networking app. “I have certainly had the experience of running into others in the Innovation Square and downtown startup communities when I eat out. It’s one of the fun things about a small town!”
Neighboring Feathr is Apps for Docs, a company looking to revolutionize the way doctors make critical decisions through an assisting app.
“I’ve been to just about every restaurant in the area,” said Apps for Docs Chief Operations Officer, Aaron Duthie. Duthie eats out around Innovation Square “at least twice a week.”
“We see a lot of other Innovation Square employees out doing the same thing,” Duthie said.
The Jones B-Side, described by Augustin as having “the best food in Gainesville,” is a popular restaurant that has grown since its launch on the boundaries of Innovation Square one year ago. In that year, owner Tree Garner says, the restaurant has enjoyed a definite growth and now employs over 30 people.
“We are fortunate to be here while the Innovation Square developments come together,” Garner said. Garner recognized one cause of growth being that technology companies new to Gainesville add to the local economy when they sell their products elsewhere.
“When technology companies are based in Gainesville and doing business all over the world, they bring money to Gainesville every time they make a sale,” Garner said. “They’re also paying their employees who are spending money locally.”
Garner also addressed why he thought The Jones B-Side fared better than other restaurants that previously occupied the same location.
“We are a reputable, local business,” Garner said. “But also, other companies here didn’t have the Florida Innovation Hub, they didn’t have these new apartments being built, and they didn’t have Innovation Square here. We’re here as all these things are coming together.”
A variety of industries are set to increase output as Innovation Square begins altering the community’s infrastructure.
Innovation Square’s “signature corridor,” SW 9th Street, will provide small, interactive blocks in the technology community. Gainesville-based Oelrich Construction, who was awarded the general contracting bid, plans on adding a wide array of jobs through the project.
“We’ll be bringing in asphalt layers, equipment workers, electricians, carpenters, landscapers, and other jobs,” said Oelrich Construction project manager, Derek Dykes, when describing the jobs that will be added in Gainesville through the project. “All of the subcontractors that we’re bidding to are local.”
Oelrich is also currently bidding several other projects and redevelopments around Innovation Square that will provide similar non-tech jobs to Gainesville.
The activity being cultivated in Innovation Square is creating the economic investment that is growing local industries all over Gainesville. Known as a high-tech core, companies in Innovation Square are creating a foundation for a sustainable community that invests in its local enterprises.