Tallahassee’s economic development arm is looking to invest in Frenchtown and the Southside. But Community Redevelopment Agency Director Roxanne Manning says the agency is still years away from turning proposed projects into reality, and is trying to come up with a list.
“Because the CRA doesn’t have a ton of money—we don’t have millions of dollars a year—it’s going to take years and years to work on some of these projects," she said during a taping of WFSU's public affairs program, Perspectives. "But we are making measurable progress in making improvements that citizens need for Frenchtown and Southside.
An example of one project currently underway is the moving of the Homeless Shelter on Tennessee Street. The CRA purchased that property and plans to redevelop it but construction projects take years to complete. The CRA is also holding workshops with area residents and businesses to come up with a list of other projects.
The recent funding for projects on Gaines Street and the Downtown Doubletree Hotel has caused the CRA to become the subject of criticism that it favors big developers, instead of focusing on its original mission, which is to focus on under-developed parts of town.