Downtown Development Seeks $9.6 Million CRA Tax Break

Downtown Development Seeks $9.6 Million CRA Tax Break

Tallahassee Reports has learned that a proposed development located in downtown Tallahassee at 227 S. Calhoun Street is seeking a $9.6 million refund of post-construction property tax from the downtown Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

At the July 19th CRA Board meeting staff was directed not to bring any additional large-scale Downtown District projects to the Board until there was a decision on the continuance of the DT District. The Leon County Commission recently voted to begin the process of pulling out of the downtown Community Redevelopment Agency which has become entangled with the local FBI investigation of public corruption.

However, the CRA staff wrote in the latest meeting agenda that “because of the scale of this potential project, staff is seeking direction from the Board as to whether or not staff should move forward with discussing the Washington Square Tallahassee proposal and request for financial assistance with the Developer.”

The proposed project will encompass 1.33 acres of the southern half of the block bounded by East College to the north, S. Gadsden Street to the east, E. Jefferson Street to the south, and S. Calhoun Street to the west.

The property was acquired by the Washington Square Partnership from the Ausley & McMullen law firm on January 5, 2007.  There were changes in the partnership structure in December 2010 and October 2015, and the property is now owned by Fairmont Investment, LLC.

The most recent project update shows that the development will consist of a 260 room full service hotel, 15-18,000 square feet of meeting space, approximately 70,000 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of residential condominiums, a 400 space parking garage, and 3 restaurants.

The estimated project cost is $90 million with a post construction taxable value of $60 million. Based on the CRA staff analysis, it would take until FY 2039 for the tax increment from the Project to generate $9.6 million in tax increment from the improved taxable value of the project.

The CRA will consider the project at the September 25th CRA meeting.

14 Responses to "Downtown Development Seeks $9.6 Million CRA Tax Break"

  1. You know, I also fault business owners in this town for not fighting this stuff. They pay taxes that go to the CPA that then uses that money to open up competing businesses.

    What are we – in Little Italy in the 1940s? Paying off Gambinos! Show up and yell at the CRA meeting. Pack the meeting and stir up $hit!

  2. If your project is not economically viable without tax reductions then cancel it.

    Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

    — Quote by Ronald Reagan, Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business (August 15, 1986)

  3. Guess they have NOT been paying attentionn attention to what is going in our CORRUPT CITY! I will stand and fight with any and all against this incredible SLAP IN The FACE! If they want to build in Tallahassee then THEY NEED to pay for it because I for one am
    Tired of paying for it!!

  4. If City and County use their ‘slush fund’ oops, CRA to further the continuous of corporate welfare to private developers who engage in multi-million dollar projects and those projects do not produce the anticipate return on investments then they should be screwed. Old adage, “its not that I want to take advantage of you, but you are insisting that I do”! Staff should be reprimanded for bringing a project to the table of this size for corporate welfare assistance with the FBI and others looking at the credibility of the City and County officials. City & County have to wait until 2039 to see Roi on $9.6 million? Ridiculous! Did staff vet their feasibility study? Who conducted study? Look at the numbers. Program scope too familiar to another project scope in pipeline.

    1. At Sunbiz the corp is inactive for failure to file their 2016 annual report. Robert A Pierce and Kenneth McDermott are listed as principals in the corp.

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