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Tallahassee's South City Now a Purpose Built Community

Tom Flanigan

After much planning and lobbying, one of Tallahassee’s most challenged areas will now be the target of a full-court press to improve the physical condition of the neighborhood as well as the lives of its residents.

As local government officials gathered on the steps of the Orange Avenue Apartments’ Oliver Hill Community Center, Purpose Built Communities’ CEO David Edwards made the announcement.

“Technically we’re here to announce that the South City Foundation has been accepted as a network member in the family of community efforts around the country that we call ‘Purpose Built Communities,’”  he proclaimed as onlookers cheered.

That will mean more support for efforts to improve, not only the area’s infrastructure, but also the educational and economic prospects for those who live there. For early-program believer Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox, this was the fulfillment of a dream.

“It may be 10, 15, 20 years from now we can come back to this area, see the immense change that’s going to happen, and be able to say that we were here the day that Purpose Built accepted us,” he said.

There are just 20 Purpose Built network communities in the entire nation at the moment. Tallahassee becomes the third in Florida after Orlando and West Palm Beach.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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