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City leaders' Greenville trip inspires change in downtown Tallahassee

Posted at 6:10 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 18:10:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A couple of months ago, Tallahassee leaders toured Greenville, South Carolina.

Leaders wanted to see how a similar city-created such a bustling downtown. That trip will soon be impacting some changes to The Capital City's very own downtown.

Following a trip to Greenville, SC, the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, city commissioners, and developers were tasked with making downtown Tallahassee just as bustling as Greenville's.

"You won't see it over night, but Greenville was a 40-year overnight success story," said Elizabeth Emmanuel, the CEO of Tallahassee's Downtown Improvement Authority. "I think Tallahassee's is going to happen a lot sooner because we have people engaged in making a positive difference."

The group is now holding a series of meetings to fine tune exactly how to define that success story and if you take a look around the city, many of those plans have already been put in motion.

"What we see is a consistently evolving skyline in downtown," said Emmanuel.

It's no secret that Tallahassee is rich with history. Now pieces of history will be put into the spotlight.

"They do a great job with their history and their hospitality," said Emmanuel. "I think we've got a good opportunity to do that as well."

The group wants to get people excited about what downtown has to offer. Another top priority is also getting businesses to move downtown and stay downtown.

"We think it's incredible when you're talking about billions and billions of dollars coming into our downtown," said Emmanuel.

She says that even though they went to another city for inspiration, there's still a lot of things that Tallahassee is doing right.

"We're not just downtown," Emmanuel explained. "We're so many different communities."