The City of Tallahassee is beginning to negotiate the sale of the Firestone Building and Bloxham Annex to the North American Properties company. The properties are located at the corner of Gaines and Gadsden Streets, just east of Cascades Park. NAP hopes to replace the abandoned state offices with a mixed-use community, complete with residential housing, and space for retail, dining and entertainment venues.
The City hopes the redevelopment will encourage pedestrian traffic between Cascades Park and downtown, and entice more residents and visitors to the area.
"This project will breathe new life into the downtown district,” said Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox in a written statement.
The Firestone Building once served as the city jail, and played a significant role during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1960, students from Florida A & M and Florida State University staged lunch counter sit-ins and marches. Many were arrested and subsequently jailed in the building. Developers plan to work with the community to design a memorial commemorating the events that took place there. The city is also encouraging the developer to retain the building's historically significant details. NAP previously developed student housing units along Gaines Street.