Building Tallahassee: Midtown Welcomes New Development

Building Tallahassee: Midtown Development Welcomes New Businesses
Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 17:23:49-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- We continue our "Building Tallahassee" series, looking into development in the Capital City.

Midtown has seen renewed energy in recent years with the addition of new businesses and more to come.

A familiar place is Midtown's new kid on the block.

Riccardo's Restaurant is making the move from Capital Circle to Betton Place.

"The heart of Midtown is developing really nicely," said John Acevedo, co-owner of Riccardo's Restaurant. "We want to certainly be part of that."

The family-style Italian restaurant isn't quite ready yet but owner John Acevedo says relocating to Midtown is worth the wait.

"A lot of our regulars are from this area," said Acevedo. "The walking traffic around here is going to be a certain plus for us."

Riccardo's is taking over a space that used to be "The Curry Pot", and before that, another Italian restaurant. Acevedo says Riccardo's will draw in loyal customers and new ones in the neighborhood.

Acevedo said, "I'm also missing our food, too. It's not just our customers. I'm missing our pizza like you wouldn't believe."

Riccardo's Restaurant will open at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 28th.

Traveling down Thomasville Road, Midtown Reader has emerged as a unique independent bookstore.

"It's such a welcoming and casual and fun environment. You see all types of people," said sally Bradshaw, owner of Midtown Reader. "Tallahassee is such a diverse city, and I think you are exposed to that diversity which is a wonderful thing in Midtown."

Midtown Reader opened in December 2016. Owner Sally Bradshaw says the local business community was very supportive.

"It was like a welcome wagon," said Bradshaw. "They all came and dropped by and visited and browsed. Made us feel right at home in Midtown."

Since opening, the bookstore has welcomed several authors and started different community programs.

"At Midtown reader, you can read, think and share," said Bradshaw. "That's our motto, and we really hope we're providing that environment for Tallahasseans."

As Midtown reader settles into the neighborhood, there's development right across the street that will bring office and retail space to Midtown.

The former site of "The Blueprint Shop" is now the vision of Matt McHaffie, the owner of GBGH Construction.

"We're trying to develop a larger-scale project, possibly 30- to 40,000 square feet, depending on how we can accommodate parking," said McHaffie.

McHaffie says the project could include high-scale residential units to accommodate larger groups.

"They can come in for the football games. They can come in for session. They can come in for a wedding," said McHaffie. "Basically, we can have events at our space as well."

There's no date when construction will start, but McHaffie says the project gives Midtown something unique.

McHaffie said, "Businesses in this area that could benefit from a residential component in Midtown, because that's not existent right now."

Connecting government and academia to residential neighborhoods, Midtown continues to offer diverse business opportunities in the capital city.

Next week, we look at develop Midtown development at Tallahassee's two universities: Florida State and FAMU.