Blueprint using tax dollars to build Tallahassee park

Land near MaClay Commerce Dr., Maclay Blvd. South
Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 08, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency plans to use tax dollars to transform land in Northeast Tallahassee into a park.

They’re focusing on land between Maclay Commerce Drive and Maclay Boulevard South.

“I lived out here a long time ago with my mom. I remember it being nothing but dirt and trees,” shared Shannon Berigan. She said she grew up near what’s now known as Tallahassee’s Market District.

“I am very excited to be part of it. It’s a huge infrastructure project,” Berigan added. She is now the communications manager for the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency. That team is working to develop more than nine acres in the area. “This site is just up and growing,” Berigan explained. “It’s exploding with businesses and community development. There’s not really a public space for people to recreate.”

With new businesses opening up in the Market Square just steps away and new homes under construction along Thomasville Road, this project is designed to be a focal point for the community. It’s expected to cost just over $11 million.

There were some concerns about construction, lighting and noise early on in the public input process. Leon County Commissioner Brian Welch said, “I understand those concerns. We want to make sure we can accommodate neighbors as much as we can. Increasing tree buffers. Make sure we plant more trees to eliminate any noise or light pollution.”

Berigan said there have been a dozen community engagement meetings on the project.

“It is in the design phase. We are anticipating putting it out for bid for construction in the summer of 2023 and putting into construction in fall of 2023,” she explained. It’ll still be a while before dirt starts moving here. Once complete, the present grassy lot will become a playground, a water play area, pickleball courts, an open lawn for picnicking, frisbee and multi-use paved trails for walkers, runners and bikers.

Blueprint says if all goes according to plan, construction is expected to start in 2024 and last through 2026.