The redevelopment of the old Northwood Mall offers tremendous opportunities for community development. In addition to the to-be-built police headquarters, ATN believes the city should retain the property for community use and make a master plan with the help of a recognized expert in public-oriented, community development master planning to work with Tallahassee-Leon County planning staff.
Here is ATN’s current proposal following recent design/development conversations with various city departments and and community organizations. ATN’s proposal offers suggestions for uses on the property. The City of Tallahassee seeks community input regarding the best use of the property.
Many of us following here have raised concerns about removal of 20 mature live oak trees (and others) at the former Northwood Mall, site of a the new Tallahassee police headquarters. The trees were targeted to come down to build second stormwater pond for the 25 acre property. In order to begin construction of the police building, the stormwater retention must be ready for the whole Northwood parcel.
Members from ATN met with City Staff to present the an alternative suggested by an environmental planner/hydrologist and a certified engineer who helped design Cascades, that would move the drainage project by about 10 feet, thereby saving the trees and offering a minimal change to the current drawings.
The e-mail correspondence from City staff (1/22/24), informed ATN that staff will “reach out to project engineers to evaluate the feasibility of moving the location of the ponds and any potential impacts to the Master Plan, future residential development and overall project schedule.” Staff expects to have additional information this week.
ATN will post further updates here.
This morning the City tore out the 20 oak trees at Northwood. (Note: ATN’s alternative suggestion made by an environmental planner/hydrologist and a certified engineer that moving the project 10 FEET would allow the trees to remain was denied.)
A little before the work began, City Manager Goad sent the Commissioners this statement copied below. Note: The e-mail below references “new residential dwellings in the northern parcel. This would be a change in direction from the Master Plan.”
ATN is not aware of a master plan that shows residential development there or of approval of residential dwellings on that portion of the property.
“Mayor and Commissioners,
We received feedback from the project engineer regarding the relocation of the new stormwater pond. The engineer concluded that shifting the pond enough to avoid damaging the tree’s root zone during construction and allowing for adequate access to the new stormwater facility would negate the feasibility of residential development in the northern parcel as currently planned. Throughout the project effort, the staff team and project engineers have worked to find a balance with issues like this. In this case, it is not possible to retain the trees and also preserve an adequate amount of land for new residential dwellings in the northern parcel. This would be a change in direction from the Master Plan.
Based on this information, staff has told the contractor to proceed with the originally planned scope for the stormwater pond. The stormwater pond construction is expected to last approximately five months, and additional work on the building foundation is expected to begin in February. This work is quite extensive. The deep foundation work should be completed by June followed by traditional footers and the balance of the foundation. The project is currently estimated to be completed by the end of 2025.”