Shmidtown Rising: The Future of Gainesville’s “In Between” Space
If you haven’t noticed the massive structure starting to arise on the corner of 13th Street and University Avenue (or didn’t make it to ooZoo’s St. Patrick’s day last week), there’s like a lot going on around there.
We didn’t really have a name for “around there” when there was one three dirty looking fields, a Holiday Inn, a random church with no windows on the side and some fast food places. But it only seems fair that we christen this soon to come corner of Gainesville with some title. It’s not quite Midtown, and definitely not downtown, so for now, it will be Shmidtown.
With rumors about Publix, a new hotel and a rooftop bar, there’s a lot to talk about in Shmidtown. Now I know most you are too lazy to try and confirm all these different rumors, so I’ll give you the Smokin’ Notes version.
ooZoo/ Dough Religion
The first pioneer to settle into Shmidtown. At first we’re all weary of the new kid on the block, but the create your own pizza got us in real fast. The bar side of the establishment still may seem slightly too clean for the average rowdy undergraduate bar attendee to spend the major chunk of their night, however, it has nestled its way into the routines for many as the perfect starting point of the night (as well as a place to breathe when your lungs are beginning to falter from the cig smoke in Dog). But pregames and pizza isn’t all that’s going on in that building.
Some current highlights about ooZoo (aside from the convenient location between ATO game day and Midtown):
$6 cocktails: *sirens* Swamp upped the cost of their Swamp Specialty Drinks from $5 to $8.50… and only the Swamp Juice and Swamparita are $6 at happy hour. Nothing can really beat the old $5 mule on Swamp lawn at 1pm on a Tuesday, but head to ooZoo for all day happy hour and a $6 mule on ooZoo deck.
Daily $2 draft beer: everyday ooZoo has a different beer on tap that goes for $2 a glass. And it’s not always Rolling Rock!
Flip Fridays: flip a coin and call heads or tails. If you win you get a free drink. Do it as many times as you want. It may get rowdy.
Trivia Thursday: it’s trivia Thursday.
Monday $3 burgers: yes, you get yourself a $3 burger and a $2 beer.
BRUNCH: when 101 brunch closed I thought I’d never truly enjoy another Sunday in Gainesville. But ooZoo has just come through with a Sunday brunch that offers, wait for it, $12 bottomless mimosas. Amen.
Rooftop of ooZoo
So, this is great and all but why the eff can’t we chill on the rooftop whilst pretentiously sipping our $2 draft beer? Well, you can, but not yet. Words from Dave, the General Manager: “THE ROOFTOP WILL BE OPEN BY FOOTBALL SEASON.”
Yep. That means you can cat call all the LSU fans your heart desires from above. (Don’t get yourself too close to Tiger fans, I don’t want to know what goes down in the bayou.)
Why can’t we go up there right meow? Well the owners of ooZoo, who also own that entire building, are looking for right tenant to come along that will bring the right synergy to the mix. Not to worry, because management has confirmed that the tenant will most definitely be a bar/ restaurant, and must allow for drinking on the rooftop. If the right tenant doesn’t surface by football season, Dave promises they will personally make accommodations for a rooftop bar by football season 2016.
The Standard at Gainesville
Are you having flashbacks to The Standard in Tallahassee? Well, keep a hold of your dignity, because this is not a dirty Tally bar. It’s the giant structure going up before our eyes across from Heavener. Well actually, it will consume all three of those old vacant lots on the corner of 13th Street and University Avenue.
The scoop on this massive project:
Building 1: the only building facing University Avenue and the only one that makes you feel like you might be in Manhattan every time you walk by. This will be 10 floors with the first floor designated for shops and restaurants. Floors 2-10 will be student housing.
Building 2 & 3: just like building 1, buildings 2 and 3 facing NW 13th St. will also be 10 floors, mixed use buildings.
Building 4: this building, farthest away from University, is adjacent to the 1,131 spot-parking garage, and is currently planned to be mostly retail. It’s still not yet confirmed if there will also be student housing in the higher levels.
Hotel: facing 14th St. will be the new, much needed, hotel. We’re still waiting on more details.
While there are leases currently in negotiation for the commercial use of units in The Standard at Gainesville, nothing has been signed yet. The completion for the project is projected for spring of 2017. Bring it on Social 28.
This is the addition to Shmidtown that graduating seniors are most angry about. I probably have a deficiency in a very large array of vitamins that you can’t find in gas station snacks because I’ve been too lazy to drive all the way to Publix for the past four years. (At least now I know that my 12-year-old cousin will be good to go when he starts at UF. )
While construction of the new Publix is still under review, design and development is well on its way.
Publix Super Markets Inc. now owns the lot where McDonald’s used to be behind the Holiday Inn on 13th Street and NW 3rd Avenue. The new Publix will be a half-sized “urban” Publix. In addition to the grocery store, the building will have space for an additional tenant, which will likely be a coffee shop, according to developer Bedez Massey.
Of course, we’re all ecstatic about Publix, but what if I miss my morning chicken biscuits? Well that’s covered too. McDonald’s has plans to relocate to the vacant lot around the corner at 1206 West University Ave, although they are still awaiting approval.
So, there you have it, Gainesville. There will soon be a whole new cluster of places to hang out. It’s just like when Greenwich Village became gentrified in New York City, right? Right?
As for now, have fun in the Archer traffic on your way to Publix and enjoy the construction aesthetic.