The Tallahassee Police Department is expected to open a new headquarters on the south side of town.
The expansion and relocation of this public safety campus is leaving business owners and residents concerned.
The shopping center is near Florida A&M University’s campus, as well as off-campus student apartments. A majority of the students without cars walk to Town South to grocery shop.
“They’re continuing to remove grocery stores from the south side and it’s an inconvenience to us as college students who live in the area with no transportation,” FAMU student Kelly Bishop said.
The $55 million project won a 3-2 vote by the Tallahassee City Commission.
The Town South Shopping Center on South Monroe Street consists of 12.3 acres and 11 tenants. Businesses include Save-A-Lot, CSL Plasma, Dollar General, Hong Kong II, MetroPCS, Citi Trends, Crystal Nails, K&S Beauty Supply, peopleready, South Side Pharmacy and WellCare.
“We’re either going to transfer to another location or be out of a job. It’s unfortunate because I believe a lot of people will lose jobs because of this decision,” said Ronya Campbell, a phone expert at MetroPCS.
City Commissioner Scott Maddox and Mayor Andrew Gillum voted against the demolition of the Town South shopping center. TPD’s current headquarters son Seventh Avenue is where Sealey Elementary School was located before it got demolished.
The city has proposed to buy out the remaining leases but there will not be any immediate adjustments for the local businesses.
NAI TALCOR, the property owners of the shopping plaza site, will still have the option to manage some of the businesses involved.
“I believe the new police headquarters will help better regulate crime on the south side, but I also believe we need more shopping centers installed, not taken away. It’s a food desert over here already,” said College Club resident Joanna Shack.