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Washington Square Developers And Tallahassee Settle, Project Set To Restart Soon

Parking Garage and construction site of proposed Washington Square building.
Robbie Gaffney

The Washington Square project should be back underway soon after the city of Tallahassee officials approved a settlement with the developers.

The City of Tallahassee and Fairmount Development have come to an agreement that will allow the developers to use parts of the first floor of the parking garage on Gadsden street. City Attorney Cassandra Jackson spent the weekend working with the developers.

“Under the settlement agreement, Fairmont will purchase the easement interest on the first floor of the eastside parking garage for 10,000 dollars without competitive bidding. And the 2016 easement will be amended to clarify that Fairmont’s interest runs with the land and encumbers the property,” said Jackson.

Jackson says the change came after the city realized Fairmont would need the space for more than the city initially thought.

“When request are made to put something in the property that looks like it’s more indicative of the ownership of the property as opposed to your just using it for storage and parking. When you get those kinds of requests then you get an indicator that perhaps there’s not a oneness of mind on what the easement is intended for,” said Jackson.

To solve this problem in the future City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow wants the city to make sure not to enter into perpetual agreements.

“In the future kind of like what we did tonight, we just sold the easement rights and air rights that’s clean everybody can understand it. I think in the future that’s a policy we should use,” said Matlow.

Over the next thirty days, both the city and developers will be working with appraisers to put a price on the garage. The developers want to buy the garage outright. Jackson says while the city doesn’t have to agree they’ve promised to use good faith efforts to try and come to an agreement.