Newberry Park development joins Gainesville’s sprawl west

Traditional Neighborhood Developments (TND) are popping up everywhere, like this one we are working on in Newberry. Mixed-use neighborhoods like Newberry Park are great for walkability, connectivity, and live-work-play efficiency! Read all about Newberry Park in the Gainesville Sun.

Trees are cleared and construction has started on a substantial traditional neighborhood development on West Newberry Road at Parker Road.

Newberry Park, a development by Parkwood Alachua Land Investment Inc., is planned to have 300 apartments and up to 150,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The retail park will be separated into four buildings, said Peter Trematerra, the homebuilder leading the project.

Trematerra said he has been in contact with developers for Chick-fil-A, Wawa, Starbucks and an Aldi grocery store. Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain Wawa is growing aggressively in Florida, with previously announced plans for four locations around Gainesville.

Trematerra said the project should take about 12 to 18 months to complete, with the apartments and commercial buildings being built simultaneously.

Phase one of the project was approved by the the county April 19, which includes building 300 apartments and 13,764 of non-residential property.

The other phases will be approved as the project moves forward.

Current development plans for phase one show a non-residential building/retail building in the front of the complex off Parker Road, also known as Southwest 122nd Street. Behind it will be six apartment buildings, plans show.

Trematerra said Newberry Park will have a similar feel to Park Avenue at Santa Fe, a traditional neighborhood development that offers apartments and several restaurant options off Northwest 39th Avenue.

The county amended its land development code about 12 years ago to encourage more developments like Newberry Park and Park Avenue at Santa Fe — compact developments with a mix of uses along main roads.

The owners of the Newberry Park development got preliminary county approval in 2014 for a traditional neighborhood development at Newberry and Parker roads, but were unable to sell the 31-acre property for its asking price of $5.95 million or at the discounted price of $4.5 million. So they regrouped with plans to build it themselves, Trematerra said.

“We weren’t really marketing it as much back then,” he said. “So we were ready to move forward with the project.”

It joins several housing developments of varying scale and price-point in the area that until recently was considered just outside the western suburban sprawl of Gainesville.

 G. W. Robinson Homes, a longtime homebuilder and developer in Gainesville that has built other neighborhoods near Jonesville, plans to build another large-scale development that includes 163 single-family homes and 240 multi-family units, which should be townhouses, on an 130-acre parcel in unincorporated Jonesville between Gainesville and Newberry.

Also included in the project are plans to build 30,000 to 90,000 square feet of non-residential space, which should include retail and office space on a bottom floor like what’s seen at the Town of Tioga, which also is expanding.

G.W. Robinson purchased the land last year. It is on the southwest corner of Newberry Road and Southwest 143rd Street, behind a parcel that includes a CVS drug store, Goodwill Donation Center and some self-storage units. An extension of SW 8th Avenue will reach the property in its next phase.

The G.W. Robinson development, along with Newberry Park, will add to the more than 4,000 new homes in the pipeline west of Interstate 75, about half of them between Southwest 75th Street and Parker Road.

Heading east toward the interstate, a 20,000-square-foot combined CrossFit gym and printing company is planned next door to the G.W. Robinson development, said county planner Christine Berish.

A 260-unit apartment complex called the Veve at Abor Greens is planned on about 14 acres in front of the Arbor Greens neighborhood. County planners will be providing comments to the project’s developer next week, Berish said.

And a 25,000-square-foot church, called The Rock Worship Center, is in the early planning stages. Plans show it will be built on Newberry Road across the street from Pine Hill Estates.

Missy Daniels, director of Alachua County Growth Management, said there has been a general increase in building in the southwest part of the county over the past few years.

Daniels said the new North Florida Regional Medical Center freestanding emergency room could have made the area more attractive to developers.

“There’s definitely been an uptick in recent years after coming out of a slump,” she said.

The inevitable increase in traffic from new developments on Newberry Road hurt Newberry Park in its early stages, as residents banded together in 2014 to complain about increased traffic along Newberry and Parker roads as a result of the incoming traditional neighborhood development.

Trematerra said since clearing of trees has started, he hasn’t heard many complaints from residents. “Those issues have been resolved,” he said.

However, commuters routinely back up in long lines of traffic driving into Gainesville in the morning and back home in the evening.