The India-based software development company moved its U.S. development center to 720 SW Second Ave. in 2012.
The University of Florida’s Innovation District is facing more shakeup after another large company relocates from the tech hub.
Mindtree Limited, an India-based software company, announced it will begin the process of closing its Gainesville Delivery Center location this month, with plans to be finished by the year’s end.
Mindtree moved into its Gainesville center at 720 SW Second Ave. in the Ayers Building at UF’s Innovation Square in 2012.
The Square is a part of UF’s Innovation District, which also includes UF’s east campus and the Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center.
It is located between the University of Florida campus and downtown Gainesville, and is operated by UF Innovate under the Office of Research.
Mindtree officials declined interview requests, but the company said in a written statement that the decision to close the location is to “further optimize” the company’s U.S. presence.
The company did not announce the future location of its current Gainesville operations.
“We are happy to offer opportunities to everyone from the Gainesville team within Mindtree, and hope to retain as many talented Gainesville-based Mindtree Minds as possible,” the statement said.
The statement also said that Mindtree has communicated the situation to employees.
“This is part of the normal course of doing business and has been in development for some time,” the statement said.
When Mindtree moved to the city in 2012, the company expected to create at least 400 jobs with an average salary of about $80,000, Scott Staples, co-founder and president, Americas, told The Sun.
Mindtree currently has more than 20,000 global employees, but declined to answer how many worked at the Gainesville center prior to closing or whether any employees face termination as a result of the closure.
Mindtree is not the only major tech company to have left Innovation Square.
Recently, SharpSpring, a marketing software company, and Fracture, a printing company, have left Innovation Square to find office and tech space elsewhere.
SharpSpring relocated to office space at Celebration Pointe, the development off Archer Road and Interstate 75, and Fracture has moved into the San Felasco Tech City in Alachua.
Rick Carlson, CEO of SharpSpring, said the company’s decision to relocate came down to space and parking availability. SharpSpring employs about 200 people, he said.
“For a company that size, there isn’t enough space.”
Otherwise, he said, SharpSpring employees enjoyed being downtown.
“The downtown vibe is pretty fantastic,” he said. “A lot of us found it tough to leave.”
Jim O’Connell, assistant vice president for commercialization at UF Innovate, said he was disappointed to hear about Mindtree’s departure.
O’Connell and Mark Long, director of incubation services at UF Innovate’s business incubator The Hub, recently took over management of the Innovation District.
O’Connell said UF Innovate hopes to communicate with businesses that have left the district to determine the types of changes it might need to make to recruit and retain future businesses.
“Is there anything we could have done to keep them here?” he asked.
He said the district’s management will change from being real estate-focused to developing an “entrepreneurial ecosystem,” with more resources outside office space, such as food establishments.
“Our hope is that by providing those things, it is truly a magnet,” he said.
O’Connell said that over the next five to 10 years, UF Innovate plans to house labs for several Fortune 500 companies, bringing jobs and internships to the district. Between these offices, the university plans to continue its support of homegrown businesses as well.
“It’s going to be a 90-degree turn,” he said.