CRA enters agreement with Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners for old shelter land

By: Mariel Carbone
May 25, 2017

Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners, LLC

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)-- A group of land and business owners in Frenchtown will have the opportunity to come up with development
plans for a CRA owned portion of land in Frenchtown.

The City-County Community Redevelopment Agency has agreed to enter a "memorandum of understanding" with the Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners, LLC, Thursday. Under this agreement, the group will have exclusive rights to the land for six months while they prepare a redevelopment proposal for the space.

The Partners have already developed preliminary plans for the land.

“A mixed used strategy for the redevelopment of this area,” said Keith Bowers, Project Manager for the Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners. “It would incorporate residential, commercial and some retail space here in the community.”

They’d also like to see restaurants, office space and a grocery store.

However, a market feasibility analysis presented at Thursday's CRA meeting showed that some of the development plans the Partners are working on could have a negative impact. The presenter indicated that things like office space and residential property are not supported by the market right now, and that things like rental property or student housing are a better fit for the area.

Still, Bowers said the group will still move forward developing their current plans,

"We can't always depend on or rely on those analysis. Because as stakeholders and folks that live in Frenchtown and have a vested interest in Frenchtown, we know what the community wants," he said.

The Partners will have until November to complete their development plans. At that point, the CRA can approve the sale and development, decline the sale and development and put out an RFP or extend the hold. The Partners can also back out at that point, too.

Commissioners have also asked staff to do research on what other infrastructure improvements need to happen in the Frenchtown neighborhood, like sidewalks and streets, giving the process a holistic approach. Commissioners point out that one project will not necessarily be the catalyst they are looking for to improve the area, but rather a larger investment needs to be made.

Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners, LLC is made up of several land and business owners in the area surrounding that land, including Bethel Baptist Church.


By: Mariel Carbone
May 18, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)— The CRA will consider a potential sale of the former shelter and Renaissance Community Center to Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners, LLC.

The matter will come before the CRA next Thursday. Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners, LLC is requesting exclusive rights to the land for six months while they prepare a redevelopment proposal for the space. Plus, a purchase and sales agreement for that land if the CRA were to approve the redevelopment plan.

Partners have already developed preliminary plans for the land.

“A mixed used strategy for the redevelopment of this area,” said Keith Bowers, Project Manager for the Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners. “It would incorporate residential, commercial and some retail space here in the community.”

They’d also like to see restaurants, office space and a grocery store.

Frenchtown Redevelopment Partners is made up of several land and business owners in the area surrounding that land, including Bethel Baptist Church.

If approved, Partners would take the six month period to review the market feasibility test done on the land. Plus, they’d reengage with the community to make sure all voices are heard.

"There has to be some consensus building. We want to make sure that the people in the community appreciate it, they'll support the businesses that are located here. And then also we want to be in a position where we could attract folks who would've never thought of buying a home," he said.

Bowers hopes that new development will attract future investors for the Frenchtown community.

The CRA will consider the proposal on May 25. If approved, the 180 day hold begins immediately.



 

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