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Posted on February 18, 2016
On February 10, 2015 the Tallahassee City Commission took part in a workshop to discuss efforts focused on fostering a sense of place. The vision is to create more walkable, attractive areas that draw visitors and residents to districts around Tallahassee.
“Tallahassee’s Sense of Place Districts are a collaboration between government, established local businesses and nearby neighborhoods to improve pedestrian safety in a growing business area,” Commissioner Nancy Miller said. “As a business district thrives, businesses depend on local government to provide the interconnected road system, improved lighting, sidewalks, crosswalks, etc. needed to ensure that visitors can easily move throughout the area. This cooperation is an important way that local government supports local businesses at their front doors. Gaines Street is a successful example, and we have high hopes that similar improvements will continue the business growth in Midtown, Market District, South Monroe and South Adams.”
Following a presentation from staff, the Commission unanimously approved a 2016 work plan.
However, a closer look at the dollars allocated and spent shows the Market District has received significantly less financial support than other areas.
While Gaines Street, due the size of the project, does not facilitate a good comparison, other districts do.
For example, Midtown has been allocated $657,800 and approximately $585,000 has been spent on placemaking goals.
The Monroe-Adams Corridor Action plan was allocated $1,089,000 and approximately $770,000 has been spent on placemaking projects.
However, the Market District, located just north of I-10 on Thomasville Road and home to well over a 150 businesses has been allocated $500,000 and only $21,000 has been spent to implement sense of place goals.
And it does not appear the lack of investment will change anytime soon.
The plan states that the “Planning Department is currently holding the remaining Market District placemaking balance of $479,760 until it is determined how these funds may be utilized in this larger effort.”
The “larger effort” refers to the proposed park and amenities planned for an area now occupied by two retention ponds.
In addition, City staff identified no “implementation highlights” for the Market District as with the other districts.
See details below.
The Midtown Action Plan was adopted by the Commission in March 2011 and a total of $657,800 has been allocated toward implementation. The Action Plan includes eight goals with potential implementation through 48 different project ideas. Approximately $110,438 remains available for implementation of project ideas. The Midtown Merchants Association has expressed an interest in utilizing the remaining events budget of $3,356 to support the second annual Taloofa Festival in spring 2016.
Staff estimates that approximately $35,000 of the remaining funds will be needed to support the wayfinding system in Midtown. This results in approximately $72,000 in funds available for project ideas. Planning Department staff is in close communication with the Midtown Merchants Association and these remaining funds could be expended on projects supporting the Action Plan.
Goals from the Midtown Action Plan:
Implementation highlights include:
The Monroe-Adams Corridor Action Plan
The Monroe-Adams Corridor Action Plan was adopted by the Commission in June 2011 and a total of $1,089,000 has been allocated toward direct implementation. The Action Plan includes seven goals with potential implementation through 25 different project ideas. Approximately $779,000 of the funds allocated have been utilized to implement project ideas from the plan and significant other investments by the City and BluePrint 2000 along FAMU Way and the Capital Cascades Trail are also furthering the plan ideas.
Approximately $310,000 is available for implementation of project ideas from the Action Plan. Staff estimates that approximately $25,000 is needed for implementation of wayfinding signage in the corridor and this will be implemented over the next few years as sites redevelop and good opportunities for wayfinding sign locations are identified. In order to move forward with additional project ideas, staff will need to invest time to coordinate with groups working in the area to prioritize and further develop the project concepts before implementation can move forward.
Goals from the Monroe-Adams Corridor Action Plan:
Implementation highlights include:
The Market District Action Plan
The Market District Action Plan was adopted by the Commission in October 2011 and a total of $500,000 has been allocated toward implementation. The Action Plan includes eight goals with potential implementation through 49 different project ideas. Planning staff coordinated with the Market District Merchants Association to fund a 2013 feature article promoting the district in Visit Tallahassee magazine and support for the 2013 Market Mayhem community festival. Funds have also been utilized on an appraisal for potential land acquisition to support the concept of developing an urban park around the stormwater facilities along Maclay Boulevard. The remaining fund balance for the Market District is $479,760.
The Market District working group has identified wayfinding signage, landscaping enhancements and crosswalk markings as smaller priority projects for the expenditure of placemaking funds. The working group also identified developing an urban park around the stormwater facilities along Maclay Boulevard as a priority project.
Goals from the Market District Action Plan:
No implementation highlights were noted.
City Underground Utilities is currently focused on infrastructure planning for the enhanced Maclay Boulevard Stormwater Facility. A consultant has been retained and staff anticipates a preliminary engineering report in mid-2016. After the preliminary engineering is prepared for the basic functioning of the improved stormwater treatment system, public outreach and engagement regarding the potential park facilities around the pond can begin. The Planning Department is currently holding the remaining Market District placemaking balance of $479,760 until it is determined how these funds may be utilized in this larger effort.