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Residents call for action in Frenchtown community

New projects are coming to the area
Posted at 4:08 AM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 04:08:23-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A call to action in the Greater Frenchtown neighborhood. Those living there are happy to see some upgrades in their community but say there's still work to be done.

"We lack so much affordable housing in the community. We need that bad and it doesn't seem like we're making much progress there," said Jim Bellamy.

Jim Bellamy grew up in the Frenchtown neighborhood. He longs for the days when the area was filled with businesses and the potential for new growth.

"A lot of changes have happened over the years. I say there are two Frenchtown's that people remember. One is the one we deal with today, but then there was the one that had a number of businesses up and down the street," said Bellamy.

That's why city leaders listened to Bellamy and others Monday night, about changes they want to see.

Greater Frenchtown neighbors say they're just asking for the basics like filling these empty stores with businesses or grocery stores... and safer streets with sidewalks and bike lanes.

"We've been asking for businesses for years. People down here, the closest grocery store is on Monroe Street. We don't have those kinds of amenities in the neighborhood. We would like to see a lot of those kinds of things," said Bellamy.

That's where the city's Frenchtown Placemaking Plan steps in. It consists of small projects neighbors say are important to them.

Demolishing rundown homes, improvements to streetscapes, and a residential facade program are all in the plan.

Neighbors are thrilled to already be seeing some of these changes.

"Once Virginia 400 block gets done, then we'll have three streets that have been redone and you have a whole area now that you can walk from, street to street, and enjoy yourself. And that's the kind of thing we're wanting to do," Annie Harris.

These projects are funded by the Community Redevelopment Agency.

"Having input from the folks who live in that community is exactly what the CRA is all about, finding out what their needs and desires are for their community to make it better and using the CRA to implement that," said Wayne Tedder Tallahassee Assistant City Manager.

Working with neighbors to make their community a better one.

Future projects include building an affordable housing complex in Greater Frenchtown.

There will also be upgrades coming to several intersections with crosswalks, bike lanes and slowing traffic in some areas.

The CRA is also giving a grant, to improve the outside of homes in the neighborhood.