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CRA pauses demolition of Robinson’s Grocery Store after residents argue historical significance

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Demolition plans for a building in the Bond community are on pause after residents have argued that the former Robinson’s Grocery Store is a historic structure.

People from the neighborhood came to the Community Redevelopment Agency meeting Thursday to speak about renovating, rather than removing the building.

The property is at 2021 Holton Street.

The Titi Convenience Store, formerly Robinson’s, was purchased by the CRA in November 2019 at the request of the Bond Community Action Team. According to the agenda item, the structure was a hotspot for criminal activity.

The estimate to fix up the building is 50 percent more than the structure is actually valued at; therefore, the CRA was planning to demolish it.

However, that process was put on pause after members of the community came forward arguing against demolition.

Multiple people say the structure has historical significance.

“It was one of the few places back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, where blacks in the community could have credit,” said one public commenter.

“If it had not been for those stores, a lot of families would not have made it,” another commenter said.

Public commenters on Thursday told CRA that the store is a stop on a black history tour of the Bond neighborhood.

The contractor is going to spend more time assessing the building to determine costs to rehabilitate the structure. The Bond community action team is also surveying the community on what they’d like to see go in that spot.

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