In January 2016, a Texas developer bought Tallahassee’s Market Square shopping complex. Now the new management is spurring some business owners to leave.
Just north of the I-10 and Thomasville Road interchange, Market Square holds dozens of local businesses, many of which have been there for decades. Six months after Dallas-based Leon Capital Group bought the place, merchants say lack of communication is fueling rumors and speculation. Business owners aren’t sure how they fit into the new plans and some are leaving, like Margaret Pendleton of the music store Beethoven & Company.
“We did not want to move, leave Market Square, but we had no idea whether they were gonna say 'Get out now'. Like now. Or your rent is gonna be tripled. Or anything. They have been very uncommunicative,” she said.
But the redevelopment is still in the early stages and many businesses plan on staying put. Jenny Jeffers at My Favorite Books says she’ll re-evaluate when she has all the facts.
“If they would like to communicate more to us that would be a nice thing, if we were included in the plans. But as I said before, I’m not sure they know the plans to communicate. They may be just waiting until plans are firmed up,” she said.
But Jeffers may be an exception. While she loves her bookstore, she has another job that pays the rent. That’s not the case for everyone at Market Square.