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Building Tallahassee: Updating Development Projects

ABC NEWS CHANNEL 27 (WTXL) – No matter where you go or where you look, change is coming to Tallahassee. The city has nearly 100 projects in the works. 

“You’ve got a lot of pent-up demand that’s meeting opportunity right now in the marketplace, so it’s an exciting time to keep an eye on these things,” said Jay Revell, the vice president of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s almost like one thing is leading to another, and people are getting the excitement about what Tallahassee is and what it can become,” said Wayne Tedder, the assistant city manager of development services & economic vitality.

Here are four projects to watch for and some already underway:

First up, is a site on Tharpe Street by Lake Ella will be the home of a new assisted living community.

Canterfield already has a few locations in the southeast. Not far from here, Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church looks forward to the development.

“One of my dreams, for example, is to provide a worship service for folks who are suffering from memory loss, and I think having a new population around us just gives us a great challenge to offer more ministry,” said Kandace Brooks, the senior pastor at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church.

This three-story facility will feature 97 units as the city adds more options for its older residents.

“In fact, the city of Tallahassee is looking at developing an additional senior center based on the increase of needs for our community,” said Tedder.

“What I think is going on is there’s probably a desire to not only facilitate the aging population here in Tallahassee but perhaps attract people to Tallahassee that would go elsewhere in Florida,” said T.J. Lewis, the founder of UrbanTallahassee.

Next, we head south on Monroe Street to Midtown where it intersects with Thomasville Road.

This building will be demolished to make room for a five-story multi-use facility called Midtown Pointe. The project will include commercial space, residential units, a bar and parking garage.

“Midtown has been very successful in recent years in terms of activity after 5 o’clock, entertainment options, restaurant options — which we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Lewis.

In Collegetown, this will be the site for new housing, retail and restaurant space and right next to it, a hotel, rooftop bar and more.

The site by the Gaines Street roundabout will feature Railyard Lofts and Hotel Indigo. The hotel will have more than 140 guest rooms and construction hopes to get going this spring.

The lofts would follow within a year, adding to an area seeing more students move in.

“They need grocery stores. They need places to eat. They need places to shop,” said Tedder. “All of that stuff is coming on line because those kids are moving down to the Gaines Street Corridor.”

“A complete overhaul that will probably be complete in a span of 15 years, but that project was supposed to maybe take 20 or 30 years to complete, so it’s well ahead of schedule,” said Lewis.

Finally, we go downtown, where a site will add some height to the Tallahassee skyline.

An 18-story mixed-use building called Washington Square will feature the 25th location in the country for Loews Hotels.

“The city, for a long time, has been working to get a full-service and/or upscale hotel downtown,” said Lewis. “That coupled with the fact that it’s going to be a true mixed-use building.”

The project along Jefferson and Gadsden streets will include 33 condos, a rooftop restaurant, office space, and ballroom.

“We’ve talked about it for many years — about having an 18-hour downtown, where there’s a lot of activity after folks get off work — and we’re starting to see the fruits of all the efforts that people have made,” said Tedder.

City officials estimate the project will produce 700 jobs and more than $88 million in total economic output. It’s expected to be complete by may 2020.

While some of these projects may take some time, the Capital City hasn’t stopped developing as our series will explore.

You can find the entire “Building Tallahassee” series HERE.

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