Awards grants to local businesses for improvements
With a focus on continuing to foster revitalization in the Greater Frenchtown/Southside and Downtown districts, today’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting included discussion and decisions on a number of items.March 23, 2017
The CRA Board, which is comprised of the Tallahassee City Commission and four Leon County Commissioners, approved the purchase and sale agreement with North American Properties (NAP) for the Firestone and Bloxham Annex properties. NAP’s concept for the properties on the eastern end of Gaines Street, adjacent to Cascades Park, is to create a thriving, mixed-use community. Included are spaces for retail, dining, entertainment and multi-generational housing with an estimated taxable value of $158 million. The sale price for the parcels is $4.28 million.
The CRA requested that the project include a balance of creating a downtown vibe with the creation of ample green space and pedestrian access while incorporating elements of historic value. NAP has included these architectural and historical details in their proposal and conceptual renderings, which show wide pedestrian paths, a street that can be closed off for festivals and multiple outdoor spaces. According to the proposed timeline, people could be living in the development within three years. For more information about this project, visit CascadesProject.com.
Additional actions taken by the CRA Board include:
- $39,050 Business Facility Improvement Program (BFIP) Grant for exterior improvements to the small retail shopping strip at 2020 South Monroe Street, whose tenants include a barbershop/hair salon and community meeting space
- $43,900 Business Facility Improvement Program (BFIP) Grant for exterior improvements to help attract tenants to the vacant retail strip at 2025 South Adams Street
- $150,000 in additional grant funding to assist with the construction of a commercial kitchen at the Frenchtown Heritage Farmer’s Market
- $50,000 Downtown District Ground Floor Retail and Entertainment Façade (GREF) improvement grant for Andrew’s Downtown Bar & Grill, located at 228 South Adams Street
- $100,000 grant for interior and exterior building improvements for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, located at 565 East Tennessee Street
Additionally, the board received an update on proposed state legislation that would impact CRAs across Florida. Staff also provided project updates, including the status on the demolition of the former Shelter and Frenchtown Renaissance Community Center buildings.
The CRA Board also discussed an annual assessment of property values pre and post development in both CRA districts. The assessment indicates that the increase in property value generated by CRA supported projects is responsible for approximately 55.9 percent of the total increase in property values within the Downtown Redevelopment Area between 2004 and 2016. The Greater Frenchtown/Southside Redevelopment Area has a similar track record. The funding of façade and other improvements for local businesses in the area were also noted as examples of the significant and positive impact the CRA continues to have on the community.
To learn more about the Tallahassee CRA, visit Talgov.com/CRA.