Frenchtown Revitalization

The Renaissance Center will cost $13 million, and its first tenant will be the city of Tallahassee. The hope, of course, is that many others will follow.

Ferrell's Restaurant has been serving up fried chicken and rice on Macomb Street for more than 20 years. The promise of new offices and shops down the street could mean a booming lunch crowd.

"When they build down there, I'm quite sure it's going to build us up not only here but the other businesses in the community. We are looking forward," says Elbert Ferrell Jr.

The Ferrell brothers were among dozens of Frenchtown residents and city leaders on hand for a groundbreaking Wednesday morning.

The 400 block of North Macomb Street will soon be home to a $13 million office building called the Renaissance Center.

Ms. Darryl Scott of the Frenchtown Front Porch Advisory Committee, says, "There were a lot of people saying it would never happen because of difficulties with the developers and different things, but we knew it would happen, it is happening and we're excited about it."

"I can't tell you how important this is, because if this neighborhood is allowed to die, as far as I'm concerned, Tallahassee is gone. This is Tallahassee," adds Fred Lee, who grew up in Frenchtown.

The Frenchtown Renaissance Center, as one man put it, has been "cussed and discussed" for years by this time next year it'll be open for business.

The Renaissance Center will include a 70,000 square foot office complex and accompanying parking garage. The city utilities department will move in, bringing an estimated 150,000 people a year to the neighborhood.