|Size||1st phase: 1,383,809 square feet; Future phases: 753,964 square feet|
|Location||I-75 and Archer Road, Gainesville, Florida|
The City of Gainesville is evolving, and its residents deserve a safe and efficient way to get to the heart of downtown, their workplace, the university, the medical district, and anywhere in between. We welcomed this challenge by designing Florida’s first Green transit-oriented development: Celebration Pointe.
Set to be completed in 2016, Celebration Pointe is a 225 acre mixed-use development with one million square feet of retail, office and entertainment uses, anchored by Bass Pro Shops. Celebration Pointe will also be home to more than a 1,000 new residential units, creating a hub that blends a vibrant lifestyle with a comfortable and convenient living space. Environmental responsibility is at the core of this project, with 100 acres of environmental preservation space set aside. Celebration Pointe will be the first Green transit oriented development in Florida and a certified LEED-ND (neighborhood development) site in keeping with national guidelines for community sustainability.
Celebration Pointe was the 1st transit oriented development (TOD) approved under Alachua County’s award winning Mobility Plan. While the plan includes many innovative elements, translating those policies from concept to reality in the form of an actual development has been a challenge. Viking and the Celebration Pointe team have taken a collaborative approach working with county staff over the last four years to transform the vision into a successful, innovative venture. It is one of many reasons why Celebration Pointe has been able to obtain approvals in one of the toughest communities in Florida for new development. Alachua County is known to have the most stringent environmental protections in Florida and has historically been a slow growth community with some of the toughest land development regulations in the State. Celebration Pointe is the first large scale project approved in the community since Haile Plantation was approved almost 25 years ago.
We started with a vision and 225 acres at the northwest quadrant of Interstate 75 and Archer Road (SR 24). Ideally situated in the heart of Alachua County, Celebration Pointe has been designed to meet the retail and entertainment needs of the growing and affluent suburban neighborhoods on the West side of Interstate 75 and the growing demand for a walkable upscale urban housing environment.
Celebration Pointe is the only large scale development in Alachua County featuring almost a mile of frontage along Interstate 75, providing great visibility for retailers and class A office tenants. With 700 acres of pristine conservation area along the western boundary of the development, Celebration Pointe blends an exciting urban environment with the beautiful natural setting that makes Alachua County and Gainesville such a desirable place to live.
We wanted to create a place that was pleasant and easy to get to, walk through, and bike through. All streets in Celebration Pointe will feature wide tree-shaded sidewalks and inviting architectural elements. Major roads will also feature in-street bike lanes making it safe and easy to get around on two wheels. A multi-use path will run along the perimeter of the community and provide a safe, convenient and enjoyable place to take a stroll or exercise. The portion of the Archer Braid Trail being built by Celebration Pointe will provide connectivity to more than 40 miles of off-road trails that will provide a direct connection to the University of Florida and UF Health and to parks and schools near Haile Plantation.
Celebration Pointe is working with the Regional Transit System and Alachua County to provide frequent transit service to the site that will connect Celebration Pointe with the University of Florida and UF Health, as well as other major destinations in the community. In conjunction with Alachua County, we are also exploring the introduction of a trolley circulator and connecting with adjacent residential developments and future expansion parcels.
Integral to the nature of this project is a four-lane bridge stretching across I-75, providing a crucial second major access channel to Celebration Pointe. Viking is working closely with Alachua County and the Florida Department of Transportation to design and construct this bridge, which will include the Archer Braid Trail, in-street bike lanes, and a dedicated lane for transit within the median and four travel lanes for motor vehicles. Not only will it facilitate entry and exit to Celebration Pointe, but will serve as a vital pedestrian, cyclist, and bus route across I-75, collectively saving thousands of hours of commute time and increasing the safety and security of pedestrians.
We wanted to bring a comfortable yet cosmopolitan atmosphere to Celebration Pointe. Working hand-in-glove with a focused team of highly acclaimed consultants allowed us to curate the Celebration Pointe experience with every consideration.
We chose clean, industrial linework and precise geometry to reinforce a progressive flow of energy through the area. With that in place, we introduced warm earthy colors to create a welcoming, tactile atmosphere.
We designed a vibrant green space with plenty of plant life and curated garden spaces in an effort to create a relaxed experience for visitors and residents. By opening the wide-channel main street, we hope to create a welcoming environment in contrast with the hurriedness often associated with high-traffic retail. These elements all coincide with our plan to certify this a LEED neighborhood development, exemplary of the principles of sustainability in growth.
A project of this scope allowed for an incredible opportunity to positively impact the region’s economic infrastructure and natural environment, and positively change the quality of life for the community.
Celebration Pointe is a grand-scale project more than a decade in the making. Its effects on Gainesville will be far-reaching and long-lasting. As Florida’s first Green Transit Oriented Development, Celebration Pointe is setting the standard for mixed-use developments by incorporating the latest innovations in community planning, transportation mobility, energy efficiency, green design and environmental stewardship.
Designing an eco-friendly community that preserves the natural environment and reduces the city’s carbon footprint is absolutely integral to Viking’s mission to crafting sustainable community spaces. The bridge will open to the public in November 2016 with the grand opening of Bass Pro Shops in Celebration Pointe.
All information is subject to change without notice and Developer is under no obligation to build or develop any of, or to provide notice of any changes to, the improvements shown hereon. All graphics are for illustration purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating representations of the Developer. Plans, dimensions, specifications, materials and availability of homes, recreational or other community improvements in Celebration Pointe are subject to governmental approval and change without notice or obligation.