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Saturday May 28th, 2022 6:45AM

Ivester: Renaissance will have Olympics features, public gallery

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Gainesville native and former Coca Cola CEO Doug Ivester is developing the Renaissance project in downtown Gainesville, and as "a happy coincidence," it's in the same place as the stage where he lit the torch in the 1996 Olympics.

The stage would have been located about where the elevator is in the new development, which is also called "the Fourth Side of the Square," and will be home to more Olympic features.

"I'm taking all the memorabilia that I have from the torch relay - I have my torch, I have the cauldron that carried the flame and some pictures and other things - and we're building a display of all that stuff which will be opposite the elevator doors in the back of the Renaissance building," Ivester said in a recent interview on WDUN's Newsroom.

 "In fact, what we have done is rather than just a hall with elevators, we've actually designed a gallery which will be open to the public, that space, and the gallery will be managed by Brenau Galleries," said Ivester. "They'll have located shows that are in that particular area and then right at the back there will be sort of a permanent display of the Olympic memorabilia that was mine, and if the city wishes to place some other memorabilia there we certainly would welcome that."

Ivester said the development itself was going well.

"It's just going fantastic, material selection, the design, the construction effort, I just couldn't be prouder of what's taking place there," he said.

Caroll Daniel Construction, RLR Architects, and developer Fred Roddy are all part of the project.

"As it comes together with the stone and the brick go around the building, everyone in Gainesville will begin to understand what a special building it is," said Ivester.

Ivester hoped that the Renaissance, which has eight luxury condominiums on the top level of the building, inspires other Gainesville business owners and developers to upgrade and enhance the downtown experience.

"I'd love to see people living on the second floor of every building downtown, I think that would be wonderful," he said. Ivester was thrilled to see all of the development in his hometown.

"The way I look at it, Gainesville is really on the move. I'm hoping we're playing a small part in making that happen, but there's a lot of good things, a lot of good people, there's a lot of good intentions, and you take good people and a good location and good intentions and great things are going to happen to the city."

Listen to Ivester's full interview on WDUN's Newsroom by clicking the play button above.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: gainesville, Brenau University, Doug Ivester, 1996 Olympics, downtown redevelopment
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