Tallahassee, Florida- August 15, 2012
Construction crews are currently working on building a new "Whole Foods" grocery store in Tallahassee's midtown area.
"When they relocate to your community, they cause every other big time retailer to take a look at Tallahassee", says developer Will Butler.
Butler addressed a standing-room-only overflow crowd at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Conference in Sandestin Saturday.
The topic, "Game Changing Projects" for Tallahassee including Whole Foods.
"I can tell you first-hand the private sector has responded in earnest," Butler said.
He also says the city's redevelopment of Gaines Street to make it more business and pedestrian-friendly is part of the equation.
Sean Maston works for an engineering firm participating in the Gaines Street project.
"The city's put the money into the infrastructure and now people are coming, developers are coming, so it's an exciting time right now to live in Tallahassee," says Maston.
Working hand in glove with Gaines Street is the new Collegetown Development scheduled to open in about a year.
It will include an entertainment venue called "America's Backyard".
Butler says it will have 200 to 250 live acts a year.
"This is going to raise the music scene in Tallahassee tenfold," he said.
Altogether, it's estimated the game changing projects, all in progress, will produce more than 200-thousand square feet of new space worth an estimated value of more than $300-million dollars and create nearly 24-hundred jobs.
"These are game changing projects and they will have a definite impact on our quality of life and I believe frankly in a very, very positive way", says Butler.
He says in addition to the new jobs, the game changing projects will significantly add to Tallahassee's tax base.
And that money will help improve the area's infrastructure like roads and stormwater runoff as well as school funding.