A diamond in the swamp

Owned by Peachtree Hotel Group, Hotel Indigo is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Gainesville, Florida, home to the University of Florida. Each space in the 140-room hotel is complete with artistic designs to reflect the surrounding area, including murals with gators, horses, community elements, musical notes and guitars to pay homage to local legend Tom Petty.

Each Hotel Indigo around the globe is distinctively designed to make sure no two are alike. Gainesville’s very own Paynes Prairie, a National Natural Landmark, can be seen and felt throughout many elements of the hotel. During site excavation, the team found huge limestone rocks buried under the surface. These were later incorporated back into the design to preserve the naturally occurring landscape and placed throughout the adjoining Celebration Pointe’s Tech Park.

The six-floor hotel, built by Hoar Construction, is a centerpiece at Celebration Pointe, a mixed-use development with outlet retail, restaurants, commercial office buildings, entertainment venues and a park that spans across 31,000 square-feet of land. The InfoTech office building (which is a three- level single use office building) and Celebration Pointe Bridge were among the first builds that spearheaded the mixed-use project. The purpose of the multi-modal bridge was to create a primary access point between east and west Gainesville, providing a connection between Celebration Pointe and Butler Plaza, another main shopping center in town.

The land for the project was vacant for many years before a team was brought on to serve as a general contractor. When meeting with the owners it was made clear that they had two goals in mind: keep the project as efficient and cost effective as possible. Contractors must keep the goals of owners in mind at all times to build a trusting relationship and more importantly, complete the project. When working on an ongoing development, communication is a priority to keep costs low and production high.

The Hotel Indigo location is an ideal destination for both local residents, visiting guests and business travelers alike. As guests step into the hotel, the spacious lobby, inviting restaurant and top of the line bar area provides guests with an enjoyable, relaxing atmosphere. This continues onto the outdoor patio area complete with a fire-pit to further unwind from the day’s events. Hotel Indigo, with its amenities and access to pregame activities at the nearby City Walk, is a great addition to the city during college football season. Once guests arrive, there’s really no reason to leave.

The design of Hotel Indigo was fairly unique to the area. The podium level comprised of a concrete slab and composite floor deck on a structural steel frame. Levels two through six were constructed using a prefabricated metal framing system. This design allowed for an efficient build that saved time and contributed to a safer construction site as fabrication was completed offsite and delivered to the project. Anytime a team is fabricating materials, like metal framing systems on a construction site, it increases the risk of accidents and unsafe work conditions.

By using the prefabricated metal framing system, it allowed the structure to be erected onsite faster, as it is assembled much like that of an Erector Set. In addition, it alleviates the reshoring required for a traditional concrete frame, which allows the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection trades to follow closely behind the erection crew. This system used building information modeling (BIM) and lean technologies to coordinate, manufacture and construct structural components.

Building Hotel Indigo in a college town, offered new job opportunities for the community and also allowed the construction team to strengthen their relationships within the trade market. It is advantageous, both locally and professionally, to hire local trade partners. It contributes to the local job market, as well as, contributes to cost savings for the owner.

Hotel Indigo was the icing on top of the Celebration Pointe project. It broke ground in August 2017 and was turned over in October of the following year, completing Phase I of the Celebration Pointe development. It’s truly a gem in the city, affably referred to as Gator Nation.


John Goodner, an Auburn alum, is the Director of Operations for Hoar Construction with their Florida Division. Throughout his 13 year tenure at Hoar, he has managed the project completion of numerous projects, in various sectors, largely within the attraction, hospitality, and retail markets. Goodner also serves on the board for the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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