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Leon County neighbors push back against possible FSU Convention Center

Posted at 3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 15:08:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Years after the Florida State University Convention Center project came about, Leon County neighbors are pushing back against it.

This comes one year after the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency set aside $30 million for funding.

They want to make their concerns heard ahead of a May Blueprint meeting that could decide what happens next.

"That money could be better spent," said Paul Brewer.

Brewer is one of more than 100 people who have sent letters to local leaders about the FSU Convention Center project.

"Look at the southside the money could be spent a lot better for the people who live here, Brewer said.

The proposed center would connect the Civic Center and FSU's Campus.

In 2020 Blueprint allocated $30 million for the project.

The money would come from the county Penny Sales Tax.

Stand Up Tallahassee and The Alliance of Tallahassee Neighborhoods are just a few organizations now's not the time, given the challenges of the pandemic.

However, businesses in the area say a project like this could be a great economic boost.

"It's going to bring people for conventions from out of town we can get the economy-boosting, it's going to be great to have it here," said Mike Goldstein, owner of Capital City Pedicabs.

ABC 27 reached out to Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox, Chair of the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board.

She said that right now they are waiting to see if the convention center is still a priority for FSU, noting the impacts of the pandemic.

That's not stopping people from taking a stand against it though.

"We need to have hard numbers, how many jobs will this create, and how much revenue will this actually bring to us, said Max Epstein, member of Save Historic Structures, a preservation group in Leon County.

They say the goal is to get leaders to press pause until more project details come to light.