The Impact of Redevelopment
Arriving at the decision to redevelop the Orange Avenue Apartments was not easy. The property was approaching 50 years of usage, wear, and tear, the buildings along Orange Avenue were built in a floodway, and the underground infrastructure was crumbling. The bedrooms were small, the property lacked amenities, and clotheslines dotted the property because the units were not equipped with washers and dryers. Overall, while the property was well maintained and 99% leased up, it was obsolete.
THA determined that tearing down and reconstructing the Orange Avenue Apartments would be the best course of action to improve the lives of its residents and foster equitable growth in South City.
After a rigorous procurement process, THA selected Columbia Residential, LLC as its co-developer and embarked on a comprehensive planning effort. For the next year, residents and community stakeholders engaged through workshops and meetings that culminated in the completion of a master plan to demolish 200 apartments and build 500 apartments on the 29-acre site.
The developed community will include amenities such as a swimming pool, playground, computer center, conference room, fitness center, walking trail along Orange Ave., interior bike parking room, and on-site services that will help to create vibrant, supportive communities. Phase I will be finished in the spring of 2024. Phase II will be finished in the fall of 2024.
As with other cities around the country, Tallahassee residents have struggled to find quality available housing. With demand outpacing supply, the cost of housing has increased exponentially while incomes have only risen slightly. This lack of affordable options has contributed to increases in poverty, homelessness, and instability within our communities.
The completion of the new Orange Avenue housing community will help change that and serve as a model for other communities facing similar challenges.
It will demonstrate that it is possible to create sustainable, mixed-income communities that provide affordable housing, job opportunities, and access to essential services and amenities.
According to the City/County Office of Economic Vitality, the economic impact of the THA's Orange Avenue Redevelopment is estimated to create 1,073 jobs, more than $48 million in income or wages, and approximately $97.7 million in total economic output.
Construction (temporary) impact will create 797 one-time jobs with an additional 276 indirect and induced jobs. These jobs are not permanent jobs; rather, when the project is complete, the construction employment demands created by the project will cease.
Construction (temporary) impacts will result in $82 million in direct economic output (total economic activity generated by the project), with an additional $40.7 million in output from indirect and induced economic activity.
Construction (temporary) direct impacts will result in $35.8 million in one-time income, with an additional $12.2 million in income from indirect and induced jobs. The jobs associated with construction are not permanent jobs; rather, when the project is complete, those employment demands created by the project will cease. THA hosted a job fair at the site to take applications for contractors and subcontractors looking for labor. Additionally, partnered with the Tallahassee Community College, which will provide free job training (and certification where necessary) in the construction trades through a grant they received from the State.