By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 10, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — In a last minute vote, the city commission unanimously approved a measure to allow the City of Tallahassee to bid on the purchase of the Northwood Mall property.
The property is set to go to auction on April 15. Mayor John Dailey brought up the purchase during the meeting's sharing of ideas.
“If the City of Tallahassee wanted to participate in the auction, a decision had to be made tonight,” said Dailey. “It was important for us to have that conversation so that we could take the temperature and see if we wanted to participate or not.”
Wednesday’s public meeting was the only opportunity the commission had prior to the auction to discuss and vote on the idea in the sunshine. Those who spoke during the meeting encouraged the bid, but warned to proceed with caution.
The Northwood property is on the city’s short list of potential locations for the Tallahassee Police Department’s public safety campus. That list is still being compiled based on submissions from the public. Commissioner Curtis Richardson, as well as the rest of the commission, under scored that just because the city is bidding on the property, does not mean it will be the location of the new police headquarters.
Instead, the commission tossed around possibilities for the land.
"It can be an entire neighborhood and with the elementary and the middle school right next door, Levy Park right down the road, major transportation routes with Monroe and with Martin Luther King Boulevard, the opportunities are endless,” said the Mayor.
Dailey envisions the potential to build affordable housing or workforce development housing on the lot. He also floated a performing arts space.
The starting bid for the property is $2 million, which staff said is below market value. It is unclear if there is any level of contamination.