The Gainesville City Council approved a lease agreement for two restaurants in the north parking deck in the downtown area.
A pizza and Tex-Mex restaurant were proposed at the City Council work session, last Thursday morning and the resolution was put on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.
“Investment in the downtown area is important for the city or it will die down,” said Councilwoman Barbara B. Brooks.
She said that she appreciates the diversity of space and cuisine it will bring.
However, not everyone in attendance was happy with the decision. Scott Dixon, the owner of Scott’s Downtown, a fine dining restaurant, along with other business owners and the community asked the city to hold their decision for further consideration.
“The reason why we or any other restaurant in Gainesville can’t serve everyone we want to is the lack of people to work, not lack of capacity,” said Dixon who says that more restaurants is not what is needed.
“If we’re going to do something, why not take the buildings that are now vacant on the Square and prompt them to do something,” said Claude Tatro, who owns the building Scott's is in.
Chris Richardson, a member of the community agreed and said that the council would benefit from a public debate. .
Many members in the community felt that it was unfair that tax dollars would go into funding something they did not agree with. City Mayor Sam Couvillion made it clear that no tax money would be used in this project.
“We are trying to make the city a cool and vibrant place for our kids to go away to school and want to come back and find a job,” said City Councilman Zack Tompson.