B Leisure is adjusting occasion schedules in downtown Gainesville; Tradition Council does not say sufficient

Located on Jesse Jewell Parkway, West Academy Street, Broad Street and Maple Street, the 1 to 7 acre lot that currently houses Engine 209 Park and a parking lot has gone from general business to central business with a special one Use for an event rezoned center.

The development will still house a 15,000 square meter concert and event hall and share the site with a 9,000 square meter Bourbon Brothers restaurant with a 1,500 square meter rooftop bar and an outdoor terrace, according to city planning documents. B Entertainment plans to hold 100 to 120 ticket shows and 100 more events such as weddings, conventions, sporting events and proms annually.

The previous site plan called for the venue and terrace closer to Broad Street, directly across from the outdoor pavilion and the Arts Council venue.

The new site map, unveiled Tuesday by Robert Mudd, Chief Operations Officer of B Entertainment, showed an L-shaped connection of the venue and restaurant, connecting the venue to Jesse Jewell Parkway and Maple Street on South and the east side of the property, and the restaurant, including its rooftop bar area, would be on the corner of Broad Street and Maple Street. Forty parking spaces would be on the west side of the lot near West Academy Street.

B Entertainment has introduced a new condition on the property that allows the Arts Council not to require amplified sound from the venue for five Fridays and 10 Saturdays each year, as long as this is communicated at least eight weeks in advance.

Arts Council members have been major opponents of this development throughout the application process for the rededication, as they have consistently had concerns about noise and traffic from the new venue conflicting with their own shows, and concerns about compliance with the land purchase agreement City with the Arts Council from 2018.

In 2018, the city acquired 0.44 acre lot from The Arts Council, which is part of the five parcel lot that the city is zoning for new development. Terms in the agreement included the city to provide a digital sign for The Arts Council to apply on and the provision of 40 parking spaces for the Arts Council to use 12 times a year.

The city failed to honor certain aspects of the agreement, leading the city to pay the Arts Council a $ 100,000 fine in June.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, Matt Reeves, an attorney representing the Arts Council, said the new site map was a significant improvement, but still not enough to warrant their support. Reeves urged the city council to submit the application to allow more time to work on the site plans and other conditions, including complying with the 2018 land purchase agreement.

“Important things shouldn’t be rush jobs,” Reeves said. “Measure twice, cut once. Treat long-term friends correctly and of course make new friends. “

Councilor Zack Thompson said after the meeting that he had met several times with Arts Council executive Gladys Wyant regarding the development and that the adjusted site plans had helped address some previous concerns such as: B. the reduction of noise disturbances. The project would likely attract people from the surrounding areas who would see downtown Gainesville, Thompson said.

“I hope they spend some money here, maybe they move here,” Thompson said.

The venue would hold up to 500 people and could seat 1,400 when the tables are cleared, Mudd said, although 90% of the shows will be full. It’s being designed to match a historic downtown Gainesville look with a brick facade, Mudd said. About 20% of ticket sales are expected to come from outside of Gainesville, he said.

B Entertainment plans to start construction soon and celebrate the groundbreaking on October 1st, Mudd said. They plan to complete the project by August 2022.

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