City of Tallahassee holds community meetings for input on new TPD HQ location

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 3, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The second of two community meetings focused on the new TPD headquarters is taking place at the Tallahassee Senior Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The two remaining options are the Lake Bradford Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Northwood Centre, both city-owned.

Some tenants at the Northwood location are hoping they can stick around as neighbors to TPD.

Janet Pichard is the CEO of the Tallahassee Ballet; it's been located at the Northwood Centre for over six years.

"If we have a new partner next door, we welcome it!" she said. "We have been massively able to expand our studio and have two studios, one larger studio, and if you look around we have a fabulous costume area."

Pichard said she is aware the area is changing, but is glad the City of Tallahassee is the new landowner.

"I met with the Mayor, John Dailey, shortly after they purchased the property, and he and the City have been very accommodating and welcoming. And at that time they didn't know what was going to take place here, but that they would work with us," said Pichard.

Pichard hopes the ballet can stay put; expensive specialty flooring cannot be moved to a new location.

If not, she appreciates the City's flexibility with timing.

"So we will have some expenses and so we'll have to find a way to raise some money to make it work, but at least we have some time to make it happen."

Other nearby businesses, including Canopy Road Cafe, like the idea of a nearby public safety campus.

"We'd love to see them across the street, not only to help us grow, but make sure this area stays safe," said District Manager Mary Lazarkis.

A busy Northwood Centre could feed into that restaurant.

"The foot traffic of themselves coming in and eating and telling their families and friends helps us grow as a business," said Lazarkis.

The Northwood property is almost 30 acres; if chosen architects say they would maxmize the space.

"We've taken what might be considered the back end of the property, which allows us some security, some setbacks, some security, and put a public plaza on the front area. It gives us a sense of security and controlled access for that location," said Rodney Lewis, the Principal Architect for Architects Lewis + Whitlock.

The architects are expected to present their findings, including community input and a cost analysis, to the City Commission for its decision early in the new year.

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