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CRA approves sale of Firestone, Bloxham sites

from Tallahassee Democrat

Early concept plan - Cascades Project

TaMaryn Waters, Democrat staff writer 

The Bloxham and Firestone building sites are being sold, clearing the way for the redevelopment of two downtown city blocks near Cascades Park.

The Community Redevelopment Agency Thurdsay approved a purchase and sale agreement for the buildings of $4.28 million. Developer North American Properties wants to build a $158-million project next door to the city’s signature downtown park.

“We’ve done site plans, now we are under a time frame and contract,” said Shawn McIntyre, a partner and senior vice president at NAP, which has already redrawn the Gaines Street landscape with four student housing projects.

However, McIntyre said this project won’t produce more housing geared toward students.

NAP envisions a mixed-use development with 300 units of studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with 64 units for two- to three-bedroom brownstone townhouses featuring stairway stoops leading to the sidewalk. It could also include a five-story hotel, a memorial facade dedicated to the old county jail where civil rights pioneers were detained and a cultural component for the arts.

“Tallahassee doesn’t have an urban community with all of these component combined in one project,” McIntyre said.

Now that there’s a sale agreement, more ground work will take place during the 180-day investigation period. That includes site inspections, environmental assessments and market research.

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