In 2004, AngelouEconomics was hired by the City of Tallahassee and Leon County to develop an economic development plan for southern Tallahassee. Tallahassee had experienced an unbalanced growth pattern where the northern and eastern areas of the community had grown quickly, leaving the southern portion of the community depopulated and in greater poverty, with substandard housing as well as older schools with dwindling enrollment.
AE’s main goal was to position Southern Tallahassee as a premier location for business and commercial development. This will diversify the economy, reduce poverty and unemployment, create more jobs, increase the tax base, and improve the quality of life in the community. Some of the recommendations offered by AE included:
- Changing the image of the south side
- Redeveloping prime property in the area
- Creating a public-art program
- Developing businesses in the fields of aerospace, health care, defense and security
- Improving cooperation among Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and the city and county
- Leveraging university research assets
- Reducing the time it takes to permit development and reducing electricity rates
- Improving relations between government staff and developers
- Improving entertainment, recreation, and other quality of life issues
Following the implementation of our recommendations, the SSA will be poised for long-term growth and the recruitment of high impact, high-wage development. These results will not only benefit the southern portions of Tallahassee, it will also provide relief to the north and east sections of the city that have experienced excessive growth and increased development pressures. By successfully growing the SSA, the entire community will benefit from an increased tax base, greater residential choices, more education and employment opportunities, and greater recreation and entertainment amenities.