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Tallahassee's Downtown Improvement Authority transforms Gallie Alley to reduce graffiti

Posted at 12:06 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 12:06:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Part of Tallahassee's Downtown getting a facelift.

"As long as I've been down here you walk through this alley there's litter there's trash, it's not a nice place," said Jared Willis.

Willis has worked in Downtown Tallahassee for five years and he's talking about Gallie Alley.

A shortcut to work for some, and an opportunity for vandalism for others creating a burden for local businesses.

"It had been vandalized over and over again," said Elizabeth Emmanuel, CEO of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority," and was costing the downtown businesses in their time and their effort and their money to continually abate the graffiti."

They saw an opportunity to turn the alley into a gallery of art, with the help of local business sponsors and the talent of Tallahassee artists.

"This was something that makes people feel safer it's brighter it's no cost to the businesses in the area," Emmanuel said.

Gus Corbella is the Senior Director of Greenberg Traurig, just steps from the alley.

He says with Downtown Tallahassee becoming more urbanized, the new art could help boost tourism and "Discourage further graffiti from happening by somebody not wanting to paint over something that beautiful," Corbella said.

Making the heart of Tallahassee more welcoming.

"It extends past just the investment to the businesses, but it helps people down here feel more connected to the area," said Emmanuel.

A connection people in the area say they have definitely noticed.

"For people walking through here now it's not a nasty alley it's a nice place," Willis said.

The Downtown Improvement Authority also made their "Stand Tall" mural in Gallie Alley a shirt to encourage people during the pandemic.

If you want to see improvements downtown reach out to Tallahassee Downtown with concerns.