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The owner of Railroad Square wants to partner with the city to buy South Side apartments

empty chairs and a mic in the Tallahassee Commission chambers
Craig Moore
WFSU Public Media
Kaye says he’ll pitch the project at today’s city commission meeting--not on the regular agenda, but during public comment. Then, if commissioners are interested, they can follow up.

Adam Kaye, the co-owner of Railroad Square, plans to bring a proposal to the Tallahassee City Commission meeting Wednesday. He says he wants to buy the Holton Street Arms apartments and offer the contract to the city.

Kaye announced his plan on Facebook in a post he titled "AFFORDABLE HOUSING ALERT." He’s trying to buy 100 apartments in the South Side that are for sale, he wrote. He and his business partner, Christopher Daniels, “are putting in an offer to purchase it for 8 million dollars.”

"We are trying to convince the city to, basically, purchase it and use it for public housing because these buildings have a lot of potential," Kaye told WFSU in an interview. "They’re very well made, and the price that they’re asking—eight million dollars—you could not build that many units today for three times that cost."

Kaye said he’ll pitch the project at Wednesday's city commission meeting—not on the regular agenda, but during public comment. Then, if commissioners are interested, they can follow up.

"This is, right now, just a citizen-led effort to try to ensure that the future of these housing units are a net positive, a benefit to our community versus just an opportunity for some out-of-town developer to exploit our most vulnerable members," Kaye said.

 Christic Henry is the Managing Real Estate Broker of Kingdom First Realty. She’s also past president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations and active in the community. She spoke with Kaye’s business partner, Christopher Daniels, and calls their plan “creative.”

"I don’t know that in the way it’s described in terms of flipping the property to the city if that policy is how the city creates and supports affordable housing." Henry said.

But with all the housing problems Tallahassee has, she says, its worth discussing.

"It creates the conversation around how do we learn how our government creates and facilitates -- and appropriates -- resources, public dollars for housing affordability," Henry said.

Thursday, Kaye said he’ll go before the Community Redevelopment Agency to propose the same plan.

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.