Chamber Conference: See what’s coming and going in Tallahassee development plans

From the Tallahassee Democrat

AMELIA ISLAND — While office space leasing took a nose dive in the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parts of the capital city are exploding with growth while others are seeing steady development.

A lightning round of updates came at Sunday’s closeout of the annual conference hosted by the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Ed Murray, president at NAI TALCOR and a commercial real estate broker, led the presentation.

It featured a snapshot of robust development in the CollegeTown area by Zimmer Development Company, which built Stadium Enclave and Urban Enclave apartment properties.

The company completed townhouses on the south end of Stern Street called Prospect Row. Developer Landon Zimmer said he plans to break ground on more townhouses on Mosley Street and Stone Valley Way.

Plans are also underway to break ground on Viridian One, which will bring micro apartments to CollegeTown, and a parking deck and an Embassy Suites hotel. Construction is slated to begin this year, Zimmer said.

“We own the land, so we’re looking forward to giving it its highest and best use,” he said. “We believe that would be a hotel.”

Zimmer Development Company entered Tallahassee’s market seven years ago with its student housing projects. The development work ahead, Zimmer said, will be geared toward anyone who wants to live in the CollegeTown area.

“We’re happy to invest here. We’re looking for long-term holds. We’re not looking to flip it,” Zimmer said. “We’re looking to be for here for the duration and keep investing in the city and in the area.”

In downtown Tallahassee, the next big redevelopment after the reveal of the skyline changing Cascades project, will be 4Forty North, a mixed-use project that will occupy a city block at the former Envision Credit Union’s flagship location on North Monroe Street.

The former credit union’s building was recently demolished to make way for 4Forty North. The project, flanked by North Monroe, North Adams, Carolina and Virginia streets, is estimated to spur an economic impact of $88.4 million.

Tallahassee Housing Market intelligence

The presentation also covered highlights from Tallahassee’s housing market, which is seeing a surge in sales at or above asking price. Experts say there’s a growing interest in north and east Tallahassee.

Panelists also talked about the housing options, including inclusionary housing that allows for affordable housing built into large developments.

Canopy at Welaunee is a master community under construction predicted to be the next enclave of concentrated growth within the city limits. It anchors the western toe of the Welaunee development east of Fleischmann Road between Centerville and Miccosukee roads.

The development is utilizing the inclusionary housing feature. The sale price for inclusionary housing is $203,898 with the seller paying $6,117 toward the buyer’s closing costs.

As of July 12, the development had seven homes completed, sold and occupied and an additional two homes are completed and closings are scheduled. Another four inclusionary homes are under construction and under contract.

More happening in Tallahassee:

Office space: In 2019, office leases were in the green with 240 leases representing over a million square feet. By 2020, office leases were down by 23% and down to 184 leases representing 477,326 square feet.

Raising Canes Chicken: The fast-food chain is slated to open its first Tallahassee store at 1917 W. Tennessee St., where the company hopes to build “a 3,181 square-foot restaurant with a two-lane drive through.”

In March, the Tallahassee Democrat reported a Tires Plus operates at the proposed site, and it wasn’t clear whether that store will close or relocate. The closest Raising Cane’s location to Tallahassee is in Mobile, Alabama.

Mahan Drive mania: The Mahan Drive corridor is exploding with new and proposed residential subdivisions and apartment complexes. Murray said a total of 751 single-family units plus 288 unit three-story apartment complex buildings are taking shape.

Midtown: With the return of Tallahassee favorites Finnegan’s Wake and Fire Betty’s, “Midtown is lighting up again,” Murray said. The eclectic Clusters & Hops will also be moving to Midtown, and Murray reported that the culinary masterminds behind Food Glorious Food would be bringing the Nashville hot chicken craze to Tallahassee with Hot Birdie’s Chicken.

Market Square Redevelopment: Construction activity has resumed at the shopping center, located at Timberland and Thomasville roads. An REI, a retail store for outdoor enthusiasts, is under construction. The Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, a luxury eight-theater concept, is on hold.

Publix at Bannerman: A commercial and residential project anchored by a new Publix is coming to the Bannerman and Bull Headley roads.