Land Deal for Research Lab Space in Alachua is Underway

eda is excited to be a part of the consultant team to provide civil engineering and surveying services for this new research complex in Alachua. We’ve posted The Gainesville Sun article reporting on the project.


A land deal to build lab space in the city of Alachua is making progress.

The developers are looking to complete the permitting process and close the contract to buy the land sometime in the next few months, said Brian Crawford of Concept Construction of North Florida.

The University of Florida Foundation entered into a joint venture last fall with the Hawley & Taylor Real Estate Group and Concept Construction of North Florida, agreeing to sell 14 acres next to Santa Fe College’s Perry Center for Emerging Technologies on U.S. 441 across the street from Progress Park.

Though the contract was signed last year, it gives the buyer a certain time to survey the land and handle permits before closing the deal and exchanging money and the title, said Lee Nelson of the UF Foundation.

The city of Alachua late last year approved the site plan for Foundation Park, which details the parking layout and location of the building. Now the developers are seeking a building permit, Crawford said.

Crawford said the two parties are hoping to submit the building permit for approval within the next 90 days and begin construction shortly thereafter.

Once the contract is closed, the sale price becomes public record. The lab space will focus on attracting bioscience and research companies, Crawford said.

Biotech companies have struggled to find land space as they grow out of university labs and incubator programs, often cobbling together two or more facilities to meet their needs.

Developers and lenders often are reluctant to take a chance on building and financing high-cost lab space for companies that have not established a track record of profitability and cannot guarantee a long-term lease.

Phil Hawley of Hawley & Taylor approached the UF Foundation about selling the land to him, he said.

The first building would be about 50,000 square feet, but up to 248,000 square feet might be built altogether.

Last fall, Hawley mentioned Alachua company AGTC as the first tenant, as it submitted a letter of intent designing its space.

Hawley and partners built the Progress One, Two and Three buildings totaling 105,000 square feet in Progress Park.