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CRA Board directs staff to complete development and funding agreement

from Press Release

News Release from North American Properties’ Cascades Project Team

This afternoon, the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) board authorized city staff to complete the Development and Funding Agreement with North American Properties (NAP) for the redevelopment of the two-block parcel bordering Cascades Park. This agreement outlines how the project will be funded and confirms the community’s commitment to achieving a vibrant destination that supports its vision for an 18-hour downtown.

NAP will invest $132 million in the project up front, and a hotel partner will invest $18 million, for a total private investment of $150 million. Local government will contribute to the public components of the project that were requested by the CRA, including public parking, a historical plaza, restoration of the former Leon County health unit, support space for the Capital City Amphitheater and improvements to public infrastructure.

The collective investment will create a community asset that increases the local tax base, spurs additional development in the area, contributes to the goal of an 18-hour downtown, and generates a total economic impact of $353 million and 2,900 jobs.

Specifically, public investments will include the following:

  • $2.5 million of Tourist Development funds to purchase city-owned support space for the Capital City Amphitheater, including dressing rooms, a green room, event space, storage space, kitchen and other amenities. This space will help attract popular and more sophisticated performances to Cascades Park.
  • $6.9 million in city funds to purchase the requested public parking that will be built as part of the project. These 250+ spaces are being provided in addition to the required parking that NAP will build to support the development, which amounts to nearly 800 total parking spaces.
  • $2.25 million in CRA funds or grants to help offset the $7.1 million in public improvements that will be made as a result of the project. These may include the creation of public gathering spaces and children’s play areas, construction of a Civil Rights Memorial, restoration of the former County Health Unit, the under-grounding of electric utilities, and improvements to sidewalks and the fountain, among other items. NAP will supply the remaining balance of $4.85 million for these efforts.  
  • $15.7 million of the projected new tax revenue that will be generated by the project through 2034. This amount represents a tax refunding agreement between the Tallahassee CRA and NAP, whereby NAP will pay its full property tax bill on the development following its completion and receive a 90% reimbursement each year through 2034. The CRA will retain $1.7 million of the tax increment over that timeframe, and the county will retain $8.6 million. Since the property is currently generating zero tax revenue, these amounts represent new funds that will be made available for public use. It is important to understand that with tax refunding, no funds are advanced to the developer. Rather, the funds come from a percentage of the new property taxes generated by the development.

The development is expected to open in late 2020.

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