Tallahassee Trying to Bring Feet to the Street

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

Jennifer Miller often strolls the streets of downtown Tallahassee, but only between nine and five. Miller says downtown just needs more and better attractions to get her to hang out after work or on the weekends.

"More organizations for like young people, little shops with clothes."

Over the past decade, the city along with a number of entrepreneurs has spent millions of dollars to bring more feet to the street; new condos, new restaurants and new businesses like Imagine That, a quaint shop specializing in gift baskets and other unique trinkets.

"It's not gonna be an overnight turnaround, but it is definitely happening. We will get more retail down here and then it will be a 16-hour downtown," said Imagine That owner Jenny Wells.

During the workweek lunch hour there's almost always a crowd. The weekends though, many shops are closed. Some residents are confident though it'll just be a matter of time before downtown is booming with business.

"We're definitely making progress, especially with the cultural institutions that are in the downtown area. It's bringing more families out and bringing in people from out of town," said Amy Thomas, who tries to take advantage of what downtown does offer.

Marcus Robinson works at City Hall, and says downtown needs more entertainment and culture.

"I think that Kleman Plaza has really made a big difference in this area because I remember prior to this being here, there really wasn't a whole lot to do."

The city hopes in the next five to seven years downtown will become more of an 18-hour walk-able community.

It hopes residents will purchase downtown condos, which in turn will increase the demand for business and commerce.


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