"I don't remember a new building going up down there in forever," said Michael Wright, the assistant city manager for development and transportation services. "Our intent is ... to stimulate development that is market-driven."
I think that really sums up the Gaines Street issue right now. Some unelected staffer (working under Andrew Gillum and Debbie Lightsey, according to the city website) thinks that new buildings will somehow turn into the "18-hour Tallahassee" the city keeps talking about wanting.
I can't help but think that the beauty and life of the Gaines/Railroad area has some basis in reuse of the buildings that are already there. The high ceilings and wood floors of the old RR station that houses The Warehouse; the caboose, home over time to everything from the local Musicians Union to the present day cafe; the old storefronts housing successful tattoo parlors, piercing studios, clothing stores - which of these would be bettered by being replaced with a shiny, new, plywood and drywall building?
Now that the vision of higher-end retail and housing linked to the downtown has been adopted...
Adopted by whom, when? Once again, Tallahassee city government is determind to point that shotgun straight down into the bottom of our shared boat and pull the trigger.
Let me just put it this way: would you rather hang out on Gaines or the Parkway right now?