Aerial view of Butler Plaza from the south (before the Butler North construction)
|Location||Gainesville, Florida, United States|
|Developer||Clark and Deborah Butler|
|No. of stores and services||>100|
|No. of anchor tenants||7|
|Total retail floor area||1,950,000 sq ft (181,000 m2)|
Butler Plaza is a large retail complex located in southwest Gainesville, Florida. It is the largest retail power center in Florida and among the largest in the southeast United States. Built on the former site of Stengel Airport, which closed in 1971, the shopping center currently consists of four major sections, East, Central, West, and North. Butler Town Center is currently under construction on the east side of the development.
The complex is named for the late Clark Butler, who developed the area along with his daughter, Deborah Butler—who joined the team after college in the 1980s to bring the vision to life in the 1990s. It is sometimes nicknamed the "Miracle Mile" and "Restaurant Row" (due to the number of restaurants) and is bordered by 34th Street to the east, Interstate 75 to the west, and Archer Road to the south. Anchor stores include Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Sam's Club, and two Publix supermarkets. In addition to attracting customers from Gainesville and the nearby University of Florida, Butler Plaza also attracts customers from outside Alachua County.
Butler Plaza East
Butler Plaza East is anchored by a 14-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater located on the northern side of the complex.
Other tenants include
Butler Plaza Central
Butler Plaza Central is located directly adjacent to Butler Plaza East and is anchored by a Best Buy, one of two Publix Grocery Stores in the shopping center, and several other medium-sized retailers.
Other tenants include
- Pier 1 Imports
- PetSmart and Butler Plaza Animal Hospital
- Ross Dress for Less
- Trader Joe's
- Tuesday Morning
- AT&T Wireless
- Outback Steakhouse
- Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts
Butler Plaza West
Butler Plaza West is the westernmost section of the complex and is separated from Butler Plaza Central by Clark Butler Blvd. (formerly 37th Blvd). This section is anchored by a Target and a second Publix supermarket (formerly an Albertsons until 2008).
Other tenants include
- Old Navy
- Rack Room Shoes
- Gainesville Ale House
- Pollo Tropical
- Texas Roadhouse
Butler originally envisioned expanding the shopping center to the north into 160 acres (0.65 km2) of vacant land, formerly occupied by a trailer park. These plans called for an additional 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of retail space, 400 hotel rooms, and 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of office space. Although Clark Butler died in 2008, his daughter Deborah has continued to achieve the expansion goals, as well as set new ones. In 2013 City Commission approved both land use and zoning amendments to the existing approved Butler Plaza expansion. In the planning stages for more than a decade, the Commission’s approval signals the final planning modifications prior to Butler Enterprises filing site development plans. These plans include the expansion to lands owned north of the existing retail center, including the former mobile home park, and redevelopment within the existing shopping center.The City Commission’s Wednesday approval did not modify the 2012 approval for a total of 2.5 million square feet of retail space, 250,000 square feet of office uses, 500 hotel or motel rooms, and up to 1,000 apartments or condominiums. Development thresholds were not the subject of discussion. The amendments were centered on reorienting the proposed Town Center closer to Butler’s Archer Road frontage, the gateway to the shopping center, and bringing greater flexibility to the plan allowing Butler Enterprises to accommodate tenants within a more agile economy and marketplace.
The total project is a multi-year, multimillion-dollar investment that will bring 3,500 permanent jobs to the community and at least 1,500 construction and support jobs, plus an expanded tax base. Butler North is bounded by SW 24th Avenue to the North, 34th Street to the East, I-75 to the West and Butler Plaza, Archer Road to the South. The expansion will be easily accessed from all directions, including the new four-lane, multimodal SW 43rd Street connector (named Clark Butler Boulevard), beginning at Archer Road running north through Butler Plaza and Butler North.
Butler North's tenants include:
- Sam's Club
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Orangetheory Fitness
- Ashley HomeStore
- Five Below
- Aldi Supermarket
- Dollar Tree
- Total Wine & More
- Olive Garden
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
- Bahama Breeze
- Payless ShoeSource
Butler Town Center
Butler Town Center is currently under construction with anticipated completion in the Fall of 2018. The town center will displace much of the Butler East complex and will consist of over 350,000 sq feet of open-air retail space. The center will be anchored by several large national tenants. Plans also include the construction of over 200 upscale apartments and a 13,000 sq feet chef driven food hall. Announced tenants include: