News update issued by North American Properties
Developer will breathe new life into historic structure
This afternoon, the Tallahassee City Commission voted to sell the city-owned Waterworks building to North American Properties (NAP), which will enable the company to preserve and restore the historic structure for the public to enjoy. This move comes after a selection committee reviewed NAP’s December 2017 response to the city’s request for proposals (RFP) to purchase and refurbish the space.
Preserving Our History
NAP is excited about the opportunity to preserve and bring new life to the historically significant building which once served as the site of Tallahassee’s first water system but has sat empty since for years. As noted in its National Register of Historic Places nomination, the building, constructed at the start of the 20th century, is a “visible symbol of the concern and sense of civic responsibility exhibited by many municipal governments.”
The restoration of the Waterworks will complete Tallahassee’s “four corners of history” at the intersection of Gaines and Gadsden Streets. The four corners include: The Old City Waterworks, the Historic Caroline Brevard Grammar School, the former Leon County Health Unit, which NAP will preserve and repurpose as part of The Cascades Project, and a new community-envisioned historical plaza commemorating the important events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
Engaging Our Community
Prior to submitting the response to the Waterworks RFP, NAP met with the executive director of the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation to discuss the possibilities for restoring the buildings, which are included on both the National and Local Registers of Historic Places. Because the buildings are listed on the Local Register, the Tallahassee Trust holds review and approval rights over their redevelopment.
In addition to the feedback received from the Tallahassee Trust, the proposal took into account a report previously submitted by Tallahassee’s Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI), which evaluated and recommended specific uses for the space according to the most viable ideas submitted by area residents.
Having considered all of this, NAP’s proposal intends to preserve and restore the buildings on the site to active use, potentially as a brewery/distillery with outdoor seating. However, additional community collaboration and due diligence will be required before determining the final use and a firm direction on the design.
Revitalizing Our Downtown
Ultimately, the restoration of Waterworks will complement the offerings of the Cascades Project to further contribute to the establishment of a vibrant, 18-hour downtown. Phase I of the project is set to open in late 2020.