Tallahassee moving closer to 18-hour downtown with new retail shop and brewery

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – New trends are coming to Tallahassee’s downtown district.

More first-floor spaces around downtown are being utilized by retail shops, which brings the city closer to its goal of creating an 18-hour downtown.

Downtown Improvement Authority CEO Elizabeth Emmanuel says the Poco Vino Wine Shop and Event Space is a good example of the trend. It marks one of the first true retail stores to come to downtown Tallahassee in about a decade.

“They’ve got this great hyper-local focus, so you can grab a bottle of wine that’s sustainably made, you can grab a gift made by local vendors. It’s just a really beautiful thing to have first-floor retail downtown. It’s something our community has been asking for for years and years,” Emmanuel said. “It’s really headed in a direction that has, and should, continue to excite the community.”

Amanda Morrison is the owner of Poco Vino.

“We focus on family-owned and small production wine that’s just well made,” Morrison explained.

She says a robust urban core creates a healthy business climate.

“All of those big anchor projects that the city has invested in to help us grow and thrive and revitalize our downtown areas is a huge support and commitment to help our small businesses that follow suit and try something new,” Morrison said.

One main anchor project is the Cascades Development, where building construction is complete. Emmanuel says their living space is at 92% occupancy.

“In addition to some really great business anchors that they’ve got in the other phases of the development is that first floor retail,” Emmanuel said.

Other places downtown are celebrating one-year anniversaries, including Impact Food Groups and La Florida.

Another major project coming to downtown Tallahassee is a new brewery.

According to a Community Redevelopment Agency agenda item, Amicus Brewing Ventures received about $297,220 in public funds, representing 19% of the total project cost.

CRA Board Members, who are also City of Tallahassee Commissioners, say the brewery represents the goal of an 18-hour downtown.

“It adds to the walkability and connecting of points of interest in that area,” Board Member Curtis Richardson said.

According to the agenda item about the project, the brewery will be in the Old City Waterworks Building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It will be an adaptive reuse project.

“We are excited about all of the work that has gone into developing the Cascades area, and we want to be a part of it,” one owner told CRA Board Members last Thursday.

The agenda item also says the new business plans to have local vendors, food trucks, and live music on-site, and the founders hope to close on the property this month.

With the family-friendly focus of the project, Emmanuel says it marks another downtown development to look forward to.

“It’s something that’s going to add value for all different parts of our community, and when you bring in hospitality anchors like that, you bring in a lot more life into downtown,” Emmanuel said.

You can learn more about Poco Vino here, and Amicus Brewing Ventures here.

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