In the apex of central northern Florida lies the city of Gainesville, which is the largest city in the region and has been ranked as one of the ‘Best Places to Work and Play’. Typical of the north Florida residential scene are the types of homes that are prevalent in Gainesville, from small duplexes or starter cottages to high or mid-rise condominiums to multi-family homes. The architectural detailing of the majority of Gainesville homes is classically Floridian.
In recent years, Gainesville has expanded profoundly from its historic roots to become the burgeoning city of new development and expansion that it is today. A great many revitalizations and new structures have been built, including mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhoods like Celebration Pointe, Innovation Square, and University Square. The Continuum is an enclave within Gainesville that provides elegant and accommodating housing to graduate and professional students, many of whom are enrolled at the University of Florida. Though the tallest building in the city is only twelve stories high, a great many apartment and condo buildings exist in the downtown area that are nearly as tall. The Northeast Gainesville Residential District and the Southeast Gainesville Residential District are two highly desirable places to live that have a distinctly suburban feel.
Gainesville enjoys a lively and growing economy that is heavily reliant on local industries such as food and beverage services, professional and business services, transportation and trade, retail and commerce, primary and higher education, government, research, manufacturing, healthcare, and tourism and leisure, an industry that is propelled by Gainesville’s large student population. The largest employers in the area are the University of Florida, which has a workforce of about 15,000 employees, Shands HealthCare, the Veterans Health Administration, the School Board of Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, the Publix chain of grocery stores, the North Florida Regional Medical Center, Nationwide, Alachua County, and Santa Fe College.