Transforming Downtown

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Downtown Tallahassee's skyline is changing and will continue to change if downtown redevelopment leaders get their way. Kim Williams, a Community Redevelopment Agency Board Member, says he'd like to see the old, dilapidated buildings that line downtown streets transformed into retail space. He said the new condos are just the start, but more needs to be done. He added, "There's not enough intensity to make it all work for the retail. So to make the retail work, you've got to help developers build space and reserve it for that purpose." The Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA,
will help provide the funding needed to transform the old buildings.
But, Williams says it's going to take more than the $25 million already set aside for that purpose. The CRA is asking the City of Tallahassee and Leon County Commissions to remove that $25 million spending cap. Williams said, "The City and County are trying to revisit their inter-local agreements and make that possible by taking the cap off the revenue stream and allow a portion of all of the future tax increases to go to refurbish our old downtown."
Tallahassee residents working in downtown say they're excited about the idea of redevelopment. Wanda Barnard said, "Things are booming, you see people downtown where it used to be kinda dead , so I think it's a great thing. Sheena Lapping, said, "It's turning into a bigger city and I like that. More people, more business."
The City says a deal is close on the Floridan hotel, proposed for the corner of Tennessee and Monroe Streets. We are also told that a developer is eying a downtown parking lot near Kleman Plaza for additional condo, retail and offices units.