The Cascades Project, a development project at the edge of Cascades Park that started construction in January 2019, is moving forward. Though construction was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is still on schedule and is expected to be one of Tallahassee’s largest economic development projects.
The project is expected to create nearly 700 permanent jobs, according to an economic analysis commissioned by the Office of Economic Vitality and completed by Dr. Julie Harrington, director of the FSU Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis.
The projected price of the project was estimated at $158 million in November of last year, but because of the pandemic, the project is now 5% over budget, costing $162 million. The estimated economic impact on the community is $353.6 million.
Phase 1 of the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, includes the outside structures of the AC Marriott Hotel and the adjacent apartment buildings. Phase 2 includes new apartments, townhomes and condos. Leasing has already started, and the Gadsden Street apartments are expected to be occupied by February 2021. Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments are expected to cost $1,400 to $1,500 per month. The 154-room, seven-story AC hotel will include a rooftop bar owned by the same company that owns Madison Social.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the construction, but the project is still on time. North American Properties created new work protocols because of the pandemic, including limiting the construction crew at 75% capacity and requiring every worker to have their temperature checked by an onsite nurse before entering the site. North American Properties is also providing catering for all employees to limit their need to leave the construction site.
With these changes, construction was able to continue despite the pandemic. The hotel and bar are expected to open in 2021.