Gainesville -- A planned 260-unit apartment complex creating more density near NW 13th Street has become a flash point for opponents of the city's infill policies designed to combat outward sprawl. The city's Development Review Board approved the Hidden Lake project. But developer Nathan Collier says he won't be surprised if neighborhood groups fight the complex in the courts.
Coca-Cola tightened its grip on the University of Florida campus. Coke has negotiated exclusivity contracts for soft drink sales that have been expanded to include the Shands teaching hospital and UF athletic sites, plus campus bookstores and nearby convenience stores. The new contract runs through 2005 and pays the university $560,000 annually and a minimum of $600,000 a year as a percentage of sales. One limitation: Coca-Cola can't sell its Powerade sports drink. That would compete with UF-created Gatorade, sold by Quaker Oats.
Jacksonville -- The City Council approved a $1.8-million cash grant for Rayonier Inc. to relocate from Connecticut. Incentive opponents are irked that some of the money will go toward moving expenses for top executives. Mayor John Delaney says snagging a headquarters outweighs those objections. Separately, Delaney first waffled and then declared that he won't support city incentives for America Online to move its call center from the relatively undeveloped Northside to the congested Southside. He says he will look for other enticements to keep the facility here.
Gannett Co. wasted no time taking advantage of a new Federal Communications Commission rule allowing ownership of more than one station in a market. Gannett, owner of Jacksonville NBC affiliate WTLV TV-12, plans to purchase local ABC affiliate WJXX TV-25, which is owned by Albritton Communications Group. The staffs will be merged. Meanwhile, Clear Channel Communications Corp., owner of local Fox station WAWS TV-30, plans to buy WTEV TV-47, the UPN station it has been running.
Southbank will get a big boost if plans for a $75-million office, apartment and hotel development materialize. Jacksonville-based Hallmark Partners and Stiles Corp. of Fort Lauderdale have contracted to buy 3.8 acres next to Riverplace Tower and have begun vetting plans for the mixed-use development.
Jacksonville Beach -- The wave of new condominium projects continues. Oceanic Properties Inc. of Ponte Vedra Beach has submitted plans for a $5-million, 10-unit condo building just south of Beach Boulevard. The units, which could sell for about $800,000, would mark the fourth new condo project in the area.
Nassau County -- A cluster of high-end retailers and professional offices will be under construction next month just south of the State Road A1A and County Road 105A intersection. Southern Commercial Development LLC is developing the $4.5-million, three-building 36,000-sq.-ft. project, called Azalea Pointe Village.
Fernandina Beach residents are debating whether to create a museum at Florida's oldest-standing lighthouse. A non-profit foundation wants public access to the still-operating structure at the mouth of the St. Marys River. Some fear it will create too much traffic. The lighthouse was built first on Cumberland Island, Ga., in 1820 and moved brick by brick to Amelia Island in the 1830s.
Marion County -- A $3.5-million land bridge over I-75 south of Ocala should be finished in March. The bridge, part of the Cross Florida Greenway, is unique in the U.S., according to Department of Transportation officials, who say it is modeled after similar structures in the Netherlands that allow animal and people passage over man-made obstacles.