As Washington Square Site is Demobilized, County Commission to Receive Status Update

As Washington Square Site is Demobilized, County Commission to Receive Status Update

The Leon County Commissioners will review a status report on the Washington Square development at their May 12 meeting. The project has been stalled since mid-2019, and cranes at the construction site started coming down last week.

Back in March, Fairmont Development, the project’s developer, terminated its contract with Yates Construction, the project’s primary contractor. Yates Construction then notified the City and the County of its plans to demobilize the site, including taking down cranes and removing heavy equipment and materials.

Staff reports that City Growth Management and County Public Works staff met with Yates Construction representatives in April to identify the actions needed to safely secure the construction site. These include stabilizing a temporary wall and restoring roads.

Staff reports that a time frame to demobilize the site will be established, and an inspection will take place to ensure that it is safe.

The City first approved the Washington Square project in April 2017. The initial plan was to construct a 575,840 square foot mixed-use building containing a hotel, condos, office space, and restaurants at the corner of Southeast Calhoun Street and East Jefferson Street behind the Leon County Courthouse.

After approval and permitting, construction work continued until it stalled in 2019 because of issues with access to a city-owned garage. Fairmont filed a lawsuit against the City over the use of the garage. The City eventually ended negotiations with Fairmont in late 2019.

No construction progress has been made since, and staff reports that the site will be demobilized indefinitely.

According to the meeting agenda, Fairmont Development has not yet requested to extend its expired permits but is interested in finding a new contractor for the project. The remainder of the construction is estimated to take 12 to 13 months.

17 Responses to "As Washington Square Site is Demobilized, County Commission to Receive Status Update"

  1. So, I’m googling Washington Square Development Tallahassee today to see what’s the latest on this fiasco.

    And, I’m guessing the answer is—nothing? A whole year later?

    Tallahassee, through the incompetence of its bureaucrats, has left the City with a multi-million dollar hole in the ground because it tried to shake down the developer for a few millions more for those easements?

    And no one got fired for this disaster?

    Am I missing some of the story here?

    Way to go Tallahassee/Leon County Government!

  2. A”Focused”, Competent & Progressive Group of City Commissioners would make Resurgence and Completion of this Project a Priority.
    Great Cities showcase their Skylines as symbols of their Efficiency, Prosperity & Business Savvy.
    The Fairmount Hotel would have greatly enhanced our City’s Image & added real value to the Downtown Economy.

  3. Bout time the Commissioners took an interest in this fiasco which has been stalled since mid 2019….Hello it’s now MID 2020 thats a while year later.
    Kind of typical for a government run by leftists.
    Let’s demolish the site with dynamite and make….maybe..
    .oh I dont know…maybe plant an oak forest there that maybe in 200 years will grow into beautiful Grandfather Oaks!!!

  4. On the one hand, Im happy to not yet have more tall buildings and dense downtown. We should spread out more. OTOH, freedom.

  5. This has been a Cluster #@%& from Day One. A 575,840 square foot mixed-use building containing a hotel, condos, office space, and restaurants and no place to park all those Cars. The Parking Garage, the 10 foot wide strip of Easement, Air Rights just to name a few things that was never though out before construction started. Somebody got rich and nothing usable got built.

  6. Solve the problem by finding a new City attorney and City manager and vote all incumbents up for re-election out.

    All the while commissioners were discussing the possibility of giving raises to themselves and tripling their salaries; the mayor was off doing unethical TV ads.

    A recent prior city mayor was found recently in a drug-orgy and a recent prior city commissioner is going to prison.

    But what is up for discussion is another slip-and-fall in Southwood. Yet a massive City construction project is not on their radar screen.

    Yes Curtis there is a cloud hanging over City Hall.

    Voters have a chance to make a significant contribution by making an informed decision soon.

    Vote Bill Schack!

    1. The city position is illogical, and lacks a basic understanding of real estate law.
      Way to go Cassandra Jackson, the deal is 86. So much for the ‘$200 million’ Economic Benefit to Tallahassee, over a not-really-worth $3.4 million parking garage.
      And the lawsuits aren’t even over yet, but I suppose she will earn the $203,528 per year salary- ‘consulting’ with the larger firms the City will have to hire.
      Stop thinking so small- expand your thinking and end the stupidity.

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