Updated by Lanetra Bennett - November 3, 2011
The closing of the decades-old Miracle 5 Theater in Tallahassee was a huge blow to the community.
But, sadness has turned to joy as a new multi-million dollar development promises to revitalize the community and the economy.
The Director of City of Tallahassee Growth Management, Karen Jumonville, says, "A lot of people who move in to the community often asks, why don't we have a Whole Foods here?"
There will be one.
A Whole Foods Market, Inc. will be built where the Miracle Plaza is off Thomasville Road in Tallahassee.
The Miracle 5 Theater and the existing structure will be demolished.
Whole Foods will be a part of a 75,000 square foot shopping center.
Developers say the $20 million project will bring an estimated 250 new jobs; 120 of those will come from Whole Foods.
Mayor John Marks says, "It really will make this community a lot better community."
City administrators say the new center have an urban feel with buildings sprinkled throughout the area, instead of a typical plaza with a sea of parking in the front.
A fresh market will be at the entrance to make the center even more inviting. plaza.
Jumonville says, "They'll be an outdoor seating area, in which people can get some prepared foods and sit and picnic and that sort of thing. So, it really helps to further a lot of the city's goals."
Those goals include revitalizing the entire area.
Mayor Marks says, "That's what we're trying to do in the Midtown area, create a sense of place for people to gather; for people to shop; for people to live."
Administrators say the model will be used to attract new businesses to the community in the future.
Construction is slated to begin in Spring 2012, and the shopping center and Whole Foods are expected to open in 2013.
Tallahassee, Florida - November 3, 2011 -
Whole Foods Market Inc. announced that it will be opening a store in the Miracle Plaza Shopping Center in the summer of 2013. The City of Tallahassee’s Growth Management Department and the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Departments have been working with the developer, SJ Collins Enterprises LLC of Atlanta, to bring the development to Tallahassee. Jeff Garrison, a partner with SJ Collins, will be available on site to meet with the media at 11 a.m. today.
“This will further enhance the Midtown sense of place and give this vibrant community a neighborhood grocery store,” said Mayor John Marks, who also serves as the lead commissioner for the Economic Development Target Issue Committee. “The City’s Growth Management and Planning departments have been and will continue to be proactive proponents to see this development from concept to reality. Additionally, I’m excited to have another grocery retailer in Tallahassee whose mission is in line with many of our community goals for living a healthier lifestyle.”
The store will be part of a larger redevelopment of the entire shopping center and will serve as the anchor store. Current plans call for construction to begin this coming spring.
"Once we received the initial inquiry about the possibility of Whole Foods locating in Tallahassee, we pulled together Growth Management's new Customer Service Team and key Planning Department staff to work with the developer on the proposed site design,” said Karen Jumonville, Director of the City's Growth Management Department. “Within a matter of days, we had a conceptual site plan that both the City and the developer were happy with."
"From the time of our initial inquiry, the City's permitting team has been incredibly helpful and responsive. The clear message we received from day one was that the City wants our development and they were willing to pull together teams to make it happen in record time,” Garrison said. “We came in with a sketch as a starting point for discussions, and within a matter of days of the initial discussions, the City's permitting team had a site plan that better met the City's goals as well as the design goals for Whole Foods before we even entered the formal permitting process."
The site is located in the new Multi-Modal Transportation District (MMTD), which was adopted in an effort to improve urban design, increase bicycle and pedestrian mobility, and promote in-town amenities and destinations.
“The proposed redevelopment will enhance bicycle and pedestrian mobility in the area by providing a needed service in an in-town location that is easily accessible to several neighborhoods,” said Zach Galloway, Senior Planner with the Tallahassee-Leon Community Planning Department. “This redevelopment is building on the momentum created by the Midtown merchants and the City during the Sense of Place initiative, which envisioned a bustling pedestrian district that stretched up Thomasville Road to this site.”
Whole Foods Market Inc. is an Austin, Texas, based company. It is the world’s leader in natural and organic foods with more than 310 stores in North America and the United Kingdom.