Tomorrow by noon, Gaines Street will reopen to two-way traffic bringing the vision of a destination district, started over 20 years ago, one step closer to fruition. A ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. to formally celebrate.
This vision, pushed forward by citizen groups, including Get Gaines Going through the Knights Creative Communities Initiative and the Gaines Street Vitalization Committee, heralded in the framework for what Gaines Street has become. The road design and plan, as well as the vision to purchase key properties to help guide new development, was implemented at the direction of the City Commission, with financial support from Leon County.
Today, the area continues toward the goal of becoming a destination for citizens and visitors with a variety of locally owned businesses deeply rooted in the district, making it a place unlike any other in the city.
"No project in Tallahassee better demonstrates the success you can achieve when citizens, businesses and government work together," said Tallahassee Mayor John Marks. "When you see more than $128 million in new private development, the success of local existing businesses, not to mention a beautiful, safe and inviting roadway and enhanced parks, this project is a home run for our community."
“The Gaines Street Project is a key example of Leon County and the City of Tallahassee working hand-in-hand to create a unique district, embracing the retail, cultural and community components blended together creating a true desirable destination place,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox.
In honor of the reopening, several area businesses are celebrating with specials and events. The community is encouraged to come celebrate with them! Check out Facebook.com/GainesStreet for additional event promotions and area happenings.
icycle Works & The Stone Valley Munchery are opening their Stone Valley Way location for weekend retail sales of ice-cream, local goods, food and more! They will be giving out free wine sorbet and hors d'oeuvres at the soft opening party, set for Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m. at the store, 745 Mosley St. The store will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Utrecht Art Supplies will offer discounts all day (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Thursday – 30 percent off each customer’s entire purchase (some exclusions apply)! Artists will provide in-store demonstrations involving various mediums. The store will raffle off a paint set and canvas (valued at $100) and a colored pencil set, marker set and paper pad (valued at $50). The raffle is open to everyone.
Voodoo Dog will host "happy hour" all day long! Get bacon-wrapped, plain or veggie dogs, served plain, for $2 and $1 PBR tallboys.
This event is going to be so bright you’re going to want to wear shades! Head over to Avant Garb and pick them up at a discount. Sunglasses will be two for $15 all day Thursday.
Olde Fields will also be putting sunglasses on special for the day at two for $10 and will be offering $5 off full-priced shorts.
To show some love to Gaines Street and the community, the Crepevine will offer a free Cupid Crepe (Nutella filled crepe) with the purchase of any regular crepe on Thursday.
“Local businesses are the backbone of our community, and the Gaines Street area is a major hub for local commerce,” Mayor Marks said. “By supporting these and other local businesses, we support our town and our neighbors. Of every dollar spent at a local business, nearly 70 cents stays in our local economy. That’s a return-on-investment worth making.”
The work along Gaines Street has been a multi-year, multi-discipline, multi-jurisdictional project. Funding came from a variety of sources including $17 million from the City and $10.7 million from Leon County. An additional $7 million came from the State of Florida.
While the vision continues to develop to create a vibrant urban corridor with public art displays, businesses and live/work spaces, infrastructure improvements will also continue. The final work on Gaines Street will involve installation of a roundabout at Gaines Street and Woodward Avenue. The City plans to request bids, award a contract and begin construction in the coming year.
For more information on the Gaines Street project, please visit Talgov.com/Gaines. Information is also available by liking Gaines Street on Facebook or by following @GainesStreet on Twitter.