CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
The new Medal of Honor park was on the agenda during Monday’s Gainesville Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) meeting.
GEDC committee members voted to provide up to $60,000 in matching funds for the park development. Located just off US Interstate 35 and California Street in Gainesville, the park will be a draw for visitors and a bridge to the city’s downtown merchants and restaurants, GEDC Executive Director Kent Sharp said.
In addition to the park, a Medal of Honor Museum — scheduled to open inside the former Tyler & Simpson warehouse building on East California Street — is expected to attract visitors from across the United States and the world, Sharp said.
The GEDC also discussed business development in the Gainesville area. Among their plans is the purchase of an estimated 140-acre plot of land to be developed into a future business park west of I-35. The committee approved a $200,000 down payment for the purchase.
Among businesses which plan to relocate in Gainesville this year are Turner Forest Industries. According to an introductory letter sent to Sharp, Turner Forest Industries is a 14-year-old Texas-based wholesale provider of lumber, plywood, and rough framing materials.
To align with other Turner Forest owned business interests in the Gainesville area, this multi-million dollar company will relocate from Lewisville to the Gainesville area. The GEDC voted to include Turner Forest in the sales tax rebate agreement with one half of one quarter percent for 10 years.
The GEDC also approved a $10,000 funding for the Summer Concert series. The funding is expected to cover set up and operational costs for the concert events in downtown Gainesville.
“We have a full and very exciting year planned for Gainesville,” Sharp said. “Lots of good things happening.”