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Citizens engaged in discussion over Northwood Center

 Tallahassee's Northwood Centre, which is now being redeveloped into a new TPD headquarters, amongst other developments
Tallahassee's Northwood Centre, which is now being redeveloped into a new TPD headquarters, amongst other developments

The City of Tallahassee hosted a meeting Tuesday to discuss development plans for the Northwood Centre. A new headquarters for the police department is already in the works, but much of the development is still undecided. Officials are hoping to incorporate ideas from community members in the project.

“It’s amazing to see this amount of engagement,” said Devan Leavins, Special Project Administrator for the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department. “In January it was raining and cold and we had almost 200 people out here.”

During Tuesday’s meeting officials walked attendees through some of the ideas, highlighting which suggestions already exist within a one-mile radius of the Northwood Centre and which would bring new services or resources to the area. Some of the new proposals include pet parks, electric vehicle charging stations, and spaces specifically geared toward the LGBTQ+ community, such as an equality center. The most frequent request from residents was for more outdoor areas. One attendee suggested building something like Cascades Park in downtown.

Judy Sheridan wants more performing arts space. She’s the Chairperson of the Sheridan Center and is hopeful her organization gets the greenlight to build a new performing arts center on the corner of Tharpe and MLK.

“We want to make this truly a community center,” said Sheridan. “For instance, we want to put three different venues in there. 450 seats that you could have plays, similar to what you have at Opperman at FSU.”

Sheridan went on to say she hopes the center would be available to public schools.

“The consultants have been able to work through and find a location that fits on the site,” said Leavins when asked about the potential performing arts center, “and I think now it’s just looking to see if that could work out for all parties involved.”

Sheridan hopes the City Commission will approve the development at their April 6th meeting.

Follow @bgrutherford99

Brett Rutherford is a reporter and news researcher at WFSU Pubic Media. From Riverview, Florida, he has earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. During his time at Florida State, he was a reporter within the sports department at WVFS, the student-run on-campus radio station. In 2020, he served as Sports Director during his senior year and hosted the weekly talk show Tomahawk Talk.

Email Brett: brutherford2@fsu.edu