Author Topic: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee  (Read 10937 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« on: December 04, 2012, 03:07:21 AM »
Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee



A brief tour around the downtown of Florida's capital city: Tallahassee.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-dec-downtown-revitalization-tallahassee

Noone

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 04:12:18 AM »
very nice. Thanks again for the history and updates of our state capital?

Happyvalley

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 04:15:39 AM »
Tallahassee has a great public green space park system.
Tom Brown Park is a public space...where in Jacksonville is there a city supported dog run for small dogs and a space for large dogs?
Chain-link fence or a new sky box?

KenFSU

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 08:32:28 AM »
Great walkthrough.

Tallahassee is a really great little city, far better than people give it credit for.

Really interesting about the attempt to the move the state capital to Orlando in the 1960s. I never knew that.

CityLife

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 08:41:20 AM »
Great work Ennis and you hit it right on the head about Capital Cascades and Hogan's Creek. I've been saying it for a couple years now, but its pathetic that Tallahassee can pull that off and we can't even get things rolling on Hogan's Creek. I can say with almost 100% certainty that a major reason is Tallahassee's local government proactively made efforts to make it happen, while in Jacksonville people have practically had to beg the city and Parks and Rec to do anything. After HDR completed the Hogan's Creek Greenway Plans, there was literally no plan from the city for how to implement it. When I was at SPAR I realized that and started forming a Hogan's Creek Greenway Committee, but left my job before I could really get things rolling. I know a lot of other people have stepped up and tried to make things happen on Hogan's Creek, but its hard without a paid staffer or two to do it. When I was at FSU, I recall a few of my classmates working on the Capital Cascades project and I'm pretty sure there were a few city employees working on them as well. Meanwhile, Tallahassee is comprehensively implementing their plans and all we have is a children's playground in Confederate Park....

I think having a good urban planning program at FSU is a huge boost to the Tallahassee government and its ability to make things happen. When I was at FSU, a few classmates and I gave about 500 hours of free planning labor to the Economic Development guy that runs their TIF on Gaines St. We basically created a comprehensive Place Marketing Strategy for the area and outlined the types of development to attract. FSU's fall studio is currently working on a sector redevelopment plan in the College/Park area just down the street from Gaines. Then there are the professors who occasionally get involved when time permits. If Jacksonville had either FSU or UF's Planning Departments in town, we'd have much better planning/vision and our government would be much more effective.

The Gaines St. project isn't even done yet, but the city is already starting to reap the rewards of their investments. Here are a few projects that are under construction in the area (to go along with what Ennis already posted):

http://fsucollegetown.net/home

http://urbantallahassee.com/v4/index.php/projects-topmenu-28/pending/1121-601-south-copeland

http://urbantallahassee.com/v4/index.php/projects-topmenu-28/pending/868-college-town

http://urbantallahassee.com/v4/index.php/projects-topmenu-28/downtown/1206-place-condos

http://urbantallahassee.com/v4/index.php/projects-topmenu-28/downtown/1307-saint-francis-flats

http://urbantallahassee.com/v4/index.php/projects-topmenu-28/downtown/1278-horizon-by-chance-partners



fieldafm

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 08:49:50 AM »
Quote
Tallahassee is a really great little city

100% agreed.  The point about it being a college town where 'grown up' people can comfortably live is spot on. 

The Gaines Street revitilization efforts really have been quite impressive. 

mbwright

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 09:03:32 AM »
Tallahassee is really a great place to live.  One thing you will immediately notice is the wonderful tree canopy around most of town.  There are several oaks in the area, including the FSU campus that are over 200 years old.
I am personally much happier here, than Jacksonville.  There are always many things going on, from Festivals, parades, great music and cultural events. 

I do wish they would restore Amtrak here.  I know there has been some talk about it, but not sure of any official time table, or plan. 

fsujax

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 09:09:42 AM »
I miss the hills, and the FSU campus. After about 20 years it is nice to see Gaines St finally getting new development. Cascades Park I believe is funded through Blueprint 2000, which is a smaller version of of BetterJax, they just chose not to spend a billion on road projects. Something like a Hogans Creek project could have been part of BetterJax, but that ship has sailed.

CityLife

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 09:22:57 AM »
You're correct fsujax, it is part of Blueprint2000. However, it hasn't been solely funded by the city. The EPA conducted a cleanup of the site, which is something COJ can't get done on Hogan's Creek (along with waterway work by the Army Corps). Wikipedia says the EPA and DCA have given 7.8 million to the Capital Cascades project. It has also been funded by private donations. Capital Health Plan donated $660k and according to a doc I'm looking at, Tallahassee originally planned to privately raise $10 million.

If COJ could get things rolling, it would probably be a piece of cake to get major corporate donations in this town, along with help from EPA, Army Corps, State of Florida, etc. Especially if Hogan's Creek was branded as "Jacksonville's Central Park".
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 09:26:19 AM by CityLife »

Captain Zissou

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 09:31:04 AM »
I've been in Tallahassee a few times over the past year and I have really enjoyed it.  The Lake Ella area is beautiful and the development along the Gaines street corrider was very impressive.  Being a UF grad, I naturally compared it to Gainesville.  In terms of connectivity of the campus to the rest of the town and the attempt to connect the campus to downtown, UF gets the nod, but Tallahassee is making great strides to bridge the gap.

jcjohnpaint

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 10:38:41 AM »
Thanks so much.  Great article 

peestandingup

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 05:28:40 PM »
My wife commutes to work in southern GA a couple times a week. So five years ago when we first moved to north FL (we weren't about to live in southern GA coming from DC), we had to decide between Jacksonville & Tallahassee. Obviously we chose Jax. But I'm not so sure we made the best decision, at least for us. Because it seems like most of the things that we look for in a city, Tally has more of.

Again, this isn't calling one city better than the other. "Better" is completely a matter of opinion & needs. But when I look at Tally, I usually like what I see. It's condensed, well thought out, I like that the population (young & old) is highly educated (mostly due to the universities), the public schools usually aren't crappy, it's more left-leaning but in the good way that concentrates on the value of public spaces & the population, their bus system (while smaller) is more efficient & doesn't look like it would be a complete clusterfuck nightmare to use, their dedication to the biking community is strong, etc.

Speaking of that, I read that Tally was recently upgraded to a "Bronze level" biking community by the League of American Bicyclists for all their efforts. And they have over 120 miles of bike lanes, with more on the way. I believe they have something on the books now that says they have to include them in most new roads & every time they repave old roads. That's a pretty big night & day difference from being one of the most dangerous cities for cyclists/pedestrians in the country like Jax.

If we end up having to stay in N FL for whatever reason, we'll probably look pretty hard at moving across the way.

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 05:51:21 PM »
It's too small and isolated for me now but I enjoyed the five years I was there.  It's everything you expect a town dominated by several universities, colleges, and public workers to be.  Outside of a couple of bars/clubs like the Late Night Library, Gaines Street was pretty much a no man's land when I was there and Cascades Park was an afterthought.  It was just something to drive by to get to the Moon or Pizza Hut.  It's going to be a great as a mixed use neighborhood bounded by two universities and downtown.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Bill Hoff

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 10:01:17 PM »
I went back for a couple games this year, and WOW has the area around FSU's campus exploded. Lots of very cool projects too.

DemocraticNole

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Re: Downtown Revitalization: Tallahassee
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 12:30:03 AM »
The anecdote about Apalachee Pkwy being designed to hide the Capitol view is incorrect. The construction on Apalachee Pkwy began in either '57 or '58 to provide a new route for US 27. Previously, US 27 went down Lafayette St. You can still see some remnants of the old highway where the junction of Lafayette, Old St Augustine Road and the Parkway meet by Gov Sq Mall. Also of interest to Lafayette Street is the Moon. Originally, that was an A&P grocery store.

I mostly grew up in Tallahassee and went to undergrad at FSU. It is amazing all of the changes that have occurred since I left in 2007. I'm amazed at what I see when I go back up every year for football games. Keep an eye on the College Town development that the FSU Boosters are funding. If that is successful, it will totally reshape that entire part of town.

Tallahassee is an interesting city full of different connundrums. It is a university town, yet still part of the Bible Belt. The town votes very liberally, but is much more socially conservative than say a place like Tampa, where I live now. The city is well educated, but there is also a rather large uneducated workforce that is sustained by a preponderance of state jobs.