Gray and white caricature of a tree
heart·wood n. the older, harder central wood of a tree that is denser, more durable and provides the strength and support for the tree to grow tall.

Heartwood: Past, Present, and Future

Aerial photo taken April 12, 2023
Heartwood is a neighborhood immersed in nature and inspired by history. Part of a unique and vibrant community, Heartwood seeks to connect the neighborhood within the fabric of the existing community.
The History of Heartwood: Heartwood is a new neighborhood located at the site of the former Kennedy Homes apartment complex at 1717 SE 8th Avenue in southeast Gainesville. Kennedy Homes was built in 1968 and was in operation until 2003 when it was damaged by a fire and closed down. In 2007, the City of Gainesville purchased and cleared the property, and in 2008 tasked the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, now the Gainesville Community Reinvestment Area (GCRA) with redeveloping the site.
kennedy homes press conference
Press conference at the former Kennedy Homes Apartment Complex, 2007
After many years of due diligence, community engagement and planning, the new neighborhood was named “Heartwood” and the vision was formed: to build a mixed-income community characterized by high-quality housing, top-level urban design, “green” features, and community connectedness. Heartwood would not only inspire growth but would also elevate the standards for subsequent development in the area.

Homes went on sale in June of 2021. On Sales Day, two purchasing paths were offered to Heartwood homebuyers. A portion of the lots at were reserved for the Dreams2Reality program. This is a program that was created specifically for Heartwood through a partnership with the City of Gainesville’s Department of Housing and Community Development to create more affordable options for housing. The application for Dreams2Reality closed on July 14, 2021 and the remaining homes are being sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
Heartwood Present: The first home was sold in November of 2022 and the neighborhood continues to grow to this day. Home construction is underway on a number of lots. 15 lots are still available to purchase. Heartwood offers 11 home models at a variety of price points and many of the amenities that residents of East Gainesville know and love. Tree-lined walking paths, old-growth oak trees, and beautiful wetlands will be just outside your door. In addition to these outdoor amenities, Heartwood is walking distance to Joseph Williams Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, and the TB McPherson Recreation Complex, one mile from downtown Gainesville and Depot Park, and less than three miles from the University of Florida and Innovation Square. The neighborhood is also minutes from Newnan’s Lake, Morningside Nature Center, and Boulware Springs Park, and is easily accessible from I-75 via Williston Road.

A unique mix of nature, culture and community — Heartwood is the ideal place to call home.

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