Beautification projects underway near campus

Railroad Crossings at the intersection of FAMU Way and Adams Street. Photo courtesy: Kyla Sanford

Tallahassee residents should expect to see new renovations and business ventures moving to the Railroad Square Art District and Railroad Crossings area.

Two mainstays, Happy Motoring, which lasted five years on South Adams Street, and Railroad Square Craft House, which has been open four years — are closing. Both cited common issues including liquor and labor shortages, lack of foot traffic and the demand it puts on those left to pick up the slack.

The downtown Tallahassee area is home to many small businesses. These local businesses between the Railroad Square Art District and the Railroad Crossings area at the intersection of FAMU Way and Adams Street have utilized the weekend foot traffic to keep these hotspots afloat.

These two large storefronts shutting down have paved the way for potential tenants, entrepreneurs and infrastructure to continue or even refine the legacy of Tallahassee’s culture. These are roots that have cultivated the Tallahassee community dating all the way back to the 70s when the warehouse district was turned into a popular, quirky arts area.

“That’s a large influence on how it all happened. The original events were created by FSU art professors during their time off, like creating sculpture molds,” said Adam Kaye, the real estate broker for the Railroad Square Art District and Railroad Crossings in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat.

“… Turning this from an industrial warehouse park into an art park over time,” said Kaye.

With Oh, Lemonade! moving into the neighborhood and a new walkway mural at the forefront of the railroad crossing intersection, there is potential for these districts to continue to flourish, despite losing two of their biggest hitters.

The city is dedicating  $226,000 for community beautification after Wednesday’s Tallahassee City Commission meeting. This meeting was used to deliberate where the $1.8 million in new funding for community priorities in the fiscal year 2023 budget plan would be spent.

A study from Bartin University found that beautification can give businesses an advantage, “In this way, details like colors, lighting or objects which are known to have an influence upon customers’ perceptions and moods, can be used in an aesthetic way that customers can gain positive aesthetic experiences. Thus, by increasing revisit intentions of customers, restaurants can obtain a competitive advantage.”

Events like First Friday and Adams Street Flea have attracted residents and guests to these small businesses, driving in a lot of their business.

Between the momentum for new vendors, monthly events, and beatification in the works, Railroad Square and Crossings will continue to build and redefine the cherished Tallahassee culture and all it has to offer.