Business Leaders Explain Tallahassee Choice

By: Andy Alcock Email
By: Andy Alcock Email
Tallahassee Mayor John Marks called the opening of Whole Foods "an aha moment".

From l to r Jeff Hunter, Kaye Scholer law firm; Alan Hooper, Hooper Construction involved in Collegetown Project and Russ Benblatt, Whole Foods.

By: Andy Alcock
August 10, 2013

Three leaders with recent and expanding stakes in Tallahassee told the Greater Chamber of Commerce their reasons for choosing the community.

Kaye Scholer Chief Operating Officer Jeff Hunter says that New York based law firm chose Tallahassee to open an administrative office after looking at dozens of cities.

Hunter says the firm chose Tallahassee over Asheville, Wichita and Springfield, Missouri as finalists for the office.

He says government incentives helped seal the deal as well as Tallahassee being a place where some people from the New York office would want to transfer.

Alan Hooper, president of Hooper Construction says Tallahassee chose him.

He says there's been great community cooperation to get the Collegetown project off the ground. He says he's worked with community developers in Fort Lauderdale for a number of years and they pale in comparison to the effort made by Tallahassee.

Russ Benblatt, Executive Marketing Coordinator with Whole Foods says e-mail requests from customers started the food chain looking at Tallahassee.

He says he can't reveal exactly when Whole Foods will open, but it will be soon. Benblatt says the store will employ about 200 people.

Tallahassee Mayor John Marks called the opening of Whole Foods "an aha moment". The mayor says he's been trying to get the store to town since he became mayor ten years ago.

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