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Neighbors concerned about development at Ox Bottom, Thomasville Roads; we're digging into what's next

Posted at 6:55 PM, Sep 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-27 18:55:03-04
  • The land on the corner of Thomasville and Ox Bottom Roads could be rezoned to allow a gas station and fast-food restaurant.
  • Justin Ghazvini, someone working on the project, says there are no plans yet for businesses on the site.

It's a construction site thousands drive past every day in Northeast Tallahassee.

Potential new zoning for the land has many wondering what's the plan.

After driving past this site myself, I decided to dig into it.

Teri Cleeland has been wondering about the project on the corner of Ox Bottom Thomasville Roads since 2018.

"This was in 2018. They wanted to rezone open space to commercial," Cleeland said. "That's a huge change and it would've involved taking down all of the trees."

Years later, with the trees gone and the land rezoned:

"I found the rezoning when I was out for a walk in the neighborhood," Cleeland said.

Teri asked the city for that new rezoning request.

She shared those documents with me.

The developer, Ox Bottom Thomasville LLC, is asking the city to allow a gas station and fast food restaurant on the property.

Currently, that is not allowed in District 4.

"There's a reason why fast food and gas stations are not in that list of the commercial possibilities," Cleeland said. "It's because of the kind of use that they bring which is high volume, high traffic."

I reached out to Justin Ghazvini, a manager on the project. While he did not go on camera for an interview, he said there are not yet set plans for businesses on that space.

Although, no final plans, rezoning in that area could open the door for businesses like another fast food restaurant or something else entirely.

To get better perspective, I spoke with Slaton Murray, a commercial real estate expert with NAI Talcor.

"Particularly, in that area, there are not a lot of gas stations north of I-10," Murray said. "When you get near that Walmart area, there aren't a lot of options."

He said the boom in residential development will bring more commercial with it.

"That's probably why you're seeing a demand of more commercial development headed to the northeast part of town to follow that single family home growth," Murray said.

Cleeland posted the information online to get people involved with the planning of their community.

"When the bulldozers come, it's too late to start protesting," Cleeland said.

City leaders will review the proposed changes in November.