Remaining businesses in Market Square thriving while surrounded by redevelopment construction

Published: Jan. 10, 2020 at 5:14 PM EST
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

January 10, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Market Square development is poised to bring many new businesses to the northern part of Tallahassee, including a luxury cinema; businesses that have been there for years say they are ready for the redevelopment.

The project is scheduled to be complete in late 2020.

"Over the years things have come and gone, unfortunately for Market Square, a lot of things have gone," said Matt McCreless, the General Manager of Southern Seafood Market. "We all fed off of each other. But, we're excited to see what happens in the new place. We know it will be a great new facility, it will be a great new build-out for all of the businesses that are in here, and we know it will be another great Market Square area eventually."

Empty buildings now litter Market Square; Southern Seafood Market has been a witness to many changes over the decades.

"We've been in Market Square since the fall of 1991, so just over 28 years," said McCreless.

The store will move across the parking lot as part of the redevelopment.

McCreless says he's excited to see the end result of the project.

"It's been a long haul, five years or better. So, we're anxious to see what happens when it all gets put back together," said McCreless.

Although most of the sights and sounds in the shopping center are construction-related, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Market Square Liquors, and the Southern Seafood Market are going strong.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe will be moving two doors down around the middle of March.

"They're working over there diligently. Right now they're cutting concrete to lay the new plumbing," said General Manager David Miller.

The move will bring the business more parking and more space.

"We'll be shut down for about half a day just to move our equipment over," said Miller.

Market Square Liquors is another mainstay, holding down the fort in the mostly empty plaza.

"We've been here for 40 years, we're a staple of Tallahassee, and we'd like to be here for 40 more years," said General Manager Christian Tricquet.

Tricquet says the store was closed for about seven weeks for renovations.

"Right at December 1, we reopened right in time for the holidays, and we're excited to keep it going," said Tricquet.

Multiple businesses in the plaza say the construction has not negatively impacted their bottom lines.

"We actually ended the year up about 6% in sales so we're still making everybody happy!" Miller said.

"Our customers have been great, we've not seen a real reduction in business because we have great customers and we're grateful for that," McCreless said.

All believe, the best is yet to come.

"Some of the tenants that are coming here are going to bring a lot more business to the area, a lot more tax revenue for everyone, and it's going to be great," said Miller.

"We've got a lot of big things coming, and we're just excited to be around here," Tricquet said.

Many of the new tenants at Market Square have not yet been publicly named, but we are expecting that information within the next couple of months, and will keep you updated. Developers hope to complete the project around the end of 2020.