For years the people of Frenchtown in Tallahassee have been asking the City Commission to help revitalize the area. In response the city will soon be opening the Renaissance Center now located on what was once called an eyesore for the community.
Years ago a popular but sometime dangerous night spot used to be located on the 400 block of Macomb Street in Frenchtown.
Tom Lewis of City of Tallahassee Neighborhoods and Community Services says, "Chief McNeil went to the City Commission and explained that it was costing $1.5 million to patrol the 400 block of Macomb Street."
But now the night spot is gone and in its place is the soon to be opened Renaissance Center.
Lewis says, "It's a very exciting time for the entire city of Tallahassee and more specifically, Frenchtown."
The Renaissance Center is an 80,000 square foot multi-use building for public and the private sector services. City utility business and customer services will be relocated to the new building and will be opened to the public April 18.
Ervin Gilliam, the owner of Gilliam Barberhop, says, "City utilities will be there with 180,000 more people coming and going. It should help existing business."
Ricardo Robinson of the Gilliam Barbershop says, "Well, I say it's a great thing. We're looking forward to it and welcome it in the community and we hope it does have an impact."
Ervin adds, "It would be nice to have a renaissance Frenchtown, a rebirth maybe not of what it was, but something better."
The Departments of Energy Services, and Community Services, Water Utilities and Economic Development will also be moved to the Renaissance Center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held sometime in May.