CRA Approves $6.5 Million Grant for Frenchtown Development

CRA Approves $6.5 Million Grant for Frenchtown Development

On Thursday, the Community Redevelopment Association (CRA) approved the Frenchtown Quarters & Marketplace Community Benefit Agreement. The agreement will provide $6.5 million in grant payments over seven years to help subsidize a project aimed at revitalizing an area that once was the location of a homeless shelter. In addition, the CRA will sell five CRA owned parcels to the developer for $10.

The agreement is between the CRA and the Frenchtown Quarters & Marketplace, LLC, a Florida limited liability company whose mailing address is 2850 Tigertail Avenue, 8thFloor, Miami, Florida 33133.

The development concept includes two four-story mixed-use buildings with a total of 130 affordable residential units, approximately 21,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and up to 292 residential and retail parking spaces.

The total cost of the project could reach $40 million.

The urgent care clinic on the southwest corner of Tennessee Street and Martin Luther King Blvd (initially proposed as part of the development) has been removed from the project and may proceed separately.

The proposal also includes efforts to identify fresh food options for ground-floor retail space. The developer is also exploring the possible relocation of the Neighborhood Medical Center to ground-floor retail space in the development.

The grant funds have been tentatively programmed at $1.0 million per year starting in FY 2023 and ending in FY 2028, with a $500,000 final payment in FY 2029.

The agreement with the developer includes terms labeled as “community benefits.” These benefits include:

  • Employment Recruitment in the GFS District. The developer will advertise job openings with local job placement programs and will encourage its commercial tenants to do the same in an effort to hire residents from the GFS District for employment opportunities within the development.
  • Coordination with TEMPO. At least 100 days prior to the commencement of construction, the developer will meet with City of Tallahassee TEMPO (Tallahassee Engaged in Meaningful Productivity Opportunity) staff to identify opportunities to employ and/or offer training opportunities for youth participating in the TEMPO program.
  • Fresh Food Option. The developer shall make a good faith effort to secure tenants in the commercial space for a public market or fresh food option.
  • Apprentice Program. The developer shall place a minimum of two apprentices from Diversity & Inclusion/Disadvantaged Worker Programs in all the various trades during construction of the development.
  • Resident Assistance Programs. The developer will provide employment assistance, financial management and adult literacy training programs for residents within the development.
  • Sustainability. The development will be certified as a Green Building.
  • Radon Testing. Radon testing will be included throughout the development, if required by a lender or other funding entities.
  • MWSBE Participation. During construction of the project, the developer shall endeavor to achieve the City of Tallahassee Minority/Women Small Business Enterprise aspirational goal of a minimum of 23 percent of certified MWSBE participation (not less than 14 percent Black and 9 percent Women) in construction-related sub-contracts based on the CRA financial contribution to the project.

The grant funds have been tentatively programmed at $1.0 million per year starting in FY 2023 and ending in FY 2028, with a $500,000 final payment in FY 2029.

The first installment $1.0 million will be paid at closing of all loans necessary for the project. The second installment of $1.0 million will be paid one year from the date of the first payment and is contingent upon completion of 50% of construction of the project.

11 Responses to "CRA Approves $6.5 Million Grant for Frenchtown Development"

  1. Am I missing something? This looks exactly like all the other mega multi-story over-priced student apartment complexes that have been slapped up around FSU over the past few years, especially the ones that are in Frenchtown now. What’s the commercial vacancy rate on those facilities? They all have store frontage on the ground levels. Smells like gentrification to me and I’ve been told by my Leftist masters that gentrification is inherently racist.

  2. Story says buildings will be four stories but the sketches show FIVE stories. And a continuation of the bland, ugly architecture the our city fathers are promoting for our downtown area.

  3. It’s called “Gentrification” folks. It’s a different way of saying “get rid of the poor to make way for the rich”… under the guise of the soft and tender “ahhh” term of “community redevelopment”.

  4. That’s awful nice of the city to give away our five parcels of land to some cat from Miami. I pay taxes here and they have never been that nice to me.

    No one that lives in Frenchtown will be living in those residential units. In fact, they may not be able to live in their own homes, because it looks like they are gonna be priced outta the neighborhood judging by the arch’s drawing. Those “affordable units” will be imminently affordable for a college professor.

    They think we’re all idiots… the CRA is a tax skimming operation designed to fill the pockets of a select group of very corrupt politicians, agency functionaries and corporate lackeys’. Those people are monumental embarrassments to our community. The FBI caught them red handed, every body doing business in this town knows exactly how business was done… and is still done.

  5. “In addition, the CRA will sell five CRA owned parcels to the developer for $10.”

    Ummmm… since it’s the taxpayers who finance this entire boondoggle, why aren’t those same financiers afforded those same real estate opportunities?

    So… $6.5 million dollars for a total of 130 affordable residential units. Good to know our feckless… err, I man fearless leaders care so much about the less fortunate and downtrodden among us… well, at least 130 of them any way.

    SSDD… Same Sh*t, Different Developer

  6. One word: bulldozer

    Then open it up to private sector. No grants!!

    Follow that money to make sure no usual suspects involved!!

  7. Local leftist Democrat elected, appointed, and bureaucrat Nannies are showing their Antebellum roots and heritage prejudice by their inclusion of the word “Quarters” in the naming of the project.

    Historically on the southern plantations the slaves lived apart from their masters palatial plantation estate in an area known as “The Slave Quarters”.

    It’s like Mayor Daily telling his house slave “Lizzy just go on down to the slave quarters and bring back old Remus to shine up my boots”. ” And Lizzy have him sing that Zipadee Doo Dah song the whole time hes here too”.

    OK this is turn about = fair play because its the kind of crap Democrats always accuse Conservatives of…how does it feel flung back at you local leftist Nannies?

  8. Wouldn’t making the •MWSBE Participation mandatory be considered Racist? Personally, I would want the BEST Companies and People on this Project no mater what Race they are. What would happen if a major Failure of the Building were to happen 10 years later and it is proven to have been caused by what one of your MWSBE Participants cutting corners, will you try to cover it up?

  9. Interesting project.

    Tailored to government subsidies underwriting and deliverables of cheap dirt for $10 a pop.

    This should be a WIN WIN for all parties involved.

    Interesting to see how this government subsidiize investment plays out.

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