Economic Development Outlook
By Dr. Bill Law
Southside vibrant with new opportunity
If there’s anyplace in town I’m hesitant to describe, it’s the Southside – because that could change between writing it and getting it into print.
Certainly there’s new development. We’ve seen an enormous project announced by the St. Joe Company, south of Southwood and expanding along Tram Road. We’re seeing growth and development at Innovation Park, with five or six new projects from Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Danfoss Turbocor, and the Florida Department of Transportation.
Then there are civic expansion projects. The City of Tallahassee is working very hard to grow the airport as a resource. We’re seeing new schools going up on that side of town.
FSU and FAMU continue to expand into the Southside. There’s a very active plan to create an elder care center, an expansion to the Southside of the Tallahassee Senior Center, with a variety of services.
So we will see great, great community development taking place on the Southside. Clearly the plans that the St. Joe people have unveiled are still works in progress, but the leaders of the Leon County Schools are already starting to think about an education complex within that development. We’re seeing discussions of major retail opportunities. We’re seeing discussions of a big retirement development that would bring people with time, energy and resources to the Southside.
One can view all these projects as self-contained, but what happens is that you get to critical mass. Then all of a sudden, restaurants and hotels start springing up to support the professionals who live there and work there.
The Southside is truly unpredictable, but one thing’s for sure – there’s a lot in the works.