Building Tallahassee: Updating major projects

Building Tallahassee: Updating major projects
Building Tallahassee: Updating major projects
Posted at 6:06 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 18:06:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - If you drive around town, you're bound to notice some sort of construction going on.

You've probably wondered what's being built or what's coming down.  

For the past three years our 'Building Tallahassee' series has explored new development in the Capital City.

WTXL ABC 27's Stephen Jiwanmall took a look back at some projects we've covered in the past and showed us what they look like now. 

Construction is part of the fabric of Tallahassee, always building, always changing. There's no better example than the Centre of Tallahassee.

Developers had visions to revive the old Tallahassee Mall by adding an amphitheater, new food court and more. 

"We were looking for things that we felt was a real opportunity in Tallahassee to bring that would be fresh and different," said Late Former CEO of Blackwater Resources in 2015. 

A skating rink opened in 2015. That was followed by the Urban Food Market and the School of Arts and Sciences at the Centre in 2016.

But after developer Alex Baker died a year later, progress on his vision started to slow down.

Fast forward to 2018. Tenants inside the mall are told they have to leave. 

"It's a little devastating, only because we were really onto something, and I've seen so many children smile in there," said Carly Sinnadurai, Executive Director of The Sharing Tree in 2018. 

Now, the future of the Centre looks to be a new location for state offices.

Plans submitted to the city in 2018 shows space for the departments of state, health, and children and families. 

While the vision to this site changed over time, other major projects are staying the course. Take a look at how far they've come.

In 2018, we featured the Washington Square project downtown, a 19-story building with the city's first four-star hotel. 

"They are seeing good things about Tallahassee, our growth in population, the growth in businesses. We are starting to market and brand Tallahassee as Florida's capital for business," said Al Latimer, Director of Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality in 2018. 

Now, construction is well underway. Crews have started to build the tower. The city says the goal is to open Washington Square in August 2020.

Near Lake Ella, a new senior community is just about ready.

Construction on Canterfield of Tallahassee started in 2018. Now, the facility is planned to open this spring with 91 apartments.

And finally, the largest project in the history of the Community Redevelopment Agency.. The Cascades Project will add an upscale hotel, housing, dining options and a historical plaza.

Developers say when it's all done, the project will draw people to the heart of the city. 

"I think it benefits the community by providing a downtown destination for people that want to live downtown, work downtown, and be downtown utilizing the park," said Shawn McIntyre, Florida Managing Partner of North American Properties. "I think it's going to benefit, by the community, by raising the quality of life."   

Now, construction has begun. Phase 1 will include building the AC Hotel by Marriott and parking garage. That should be done by late 2020.

Phase 2 will feature townhomes and multi-family apartments. That's slated to be finished in the spring of 2021. 

"I think you see a sense of a community growing up finding its own," said Jay Revell, Vice President of Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. 

Revell said these projects move the city forward as it approaches its bicentennial. 

"You're just seeing an increased variety. You're seeing increased intensity in certain areas, a lot of times in the right areas and you're seeing a community that's continuing to grow up, and that's a good thing," said Revell.  

Next week, we'll look at Tallahassee's Northside, and the new projects in that area.