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Developers look to CRA to fund 'Southside Event Center and Business Incubator'

The project looks boost economic development and employment
Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 23:33:18-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The 25,000 square feet of the Town South Shopping Center could soon be the "South City Event Center and Business Incubator," revitalizing a piece of Tallahassee's south side.

To pull it off, the Loved By Jesus Family Center is asking for $750,000 in funding from the City of Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency. The money would go towards a complete renovation of the facility.

Pastor Lee Johnson and former city commissioner Dorothy Inman-Johnson said this could bring more jobs and economic development.

"A very big missing piece from this was jobs, was economic stimulus for families especially for non-college-bound young people who live in the Tallahassee community," said Dorothy Inman-Johnson.

The church presented the project before the Greater Frenchtown CRA Monday at 6 p.m.

O'Neal Jackson has lived on the southside of Tallahassee for over a decade.

"This shopping center needs some improvements and needs more businesses," Jackson said.

Lee Johnson and Dorothy Inman-Johnson believe they have the answer to that problem.

"I have been harping on doing something to alleviate poverty in this community," Inman-Johnson said.

Included in the South City Business and Job Training Incubator vision are a vocational training center, a micro-business development center, a southside event space, and a low-cost lease space with a recording studio for local artists.

The Frenchtown Citizens Advisory Committee gave it the green light Monday.

"You need traffic coming through, not passing on Monroe street," said Jackson. "You need businesses that people are coming to, and that would help them."

People in the community are optimistic about what this could mean for growth on the south side.

If approved, the money would be distributed over a five year period.

The church goes before the City's CRA Board on Wednesday for final approval.