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SOMO Walls developer, contractor reserve 35% of budget for minority-owned subcontractors

Posted at 6:23 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 18:23:52-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Off Oakland Ave and South Monroe Street sits empty buildings, for now.

In January of 2022 work will start on the SoMo Walls project, a shopping and dining center.

Once complete Darryl Jones who is the Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Vitality says the project will produce over 130 jobs with a $15.2 million economic impact.

"We realize that this economic stimulus is going to be able to create more jobs," said Jones. "Particularly for businesses that exist on the south side of Tallahassee."

The project will also include an art garden that will have 15 rotating art murals.

To help the project come to life Developer Bugra Demirel is working with Southern Standard construction.

While the city of Tallahassee and Leon County recommends at least 10.5 percent of the money for projects like these go to minority and female-owned contractors, Southern Standard owner Wayne Mayo and Demirel it was important that they do more.

"There are many talented vendors and sub-contractors in our community that fit the MWSBE demographic," said Mayo. "But many of them don't know about the project."

Construction for the project will generate 63 jobs and over $1.8 million in income or wages, something Mayo says he wants minority and female-owned businesses to benefit from..after benefiting from opportunities he was given when his business first started.

"It is real work within our community to help their businesses grow like we had the opportunity to do as well," said Mayo.

Southern Standard will open bidding for subcontractors in December with demolition on properties is expected to start in January.