What We Do

Reimagining Waterworks

Waterworks Aerial View

Years: 2016

Imagine a historic, 3,000 square-foot building nestled between Cascades Park and Downtown lying undeveloped for years – Tallahassee’s Waterworks Building. With a recent focus on redevelopment in this area and enhancing Tallahassee’s cultural offerings, the 2016 Waterworks Catalyst team helped move the timetable forward for activating this space.

They obtained community feedback, identified funding sources, researched other historical buildings, developed a property Opportunity Assessment of highest and best use options, and worked with city planning staff and elected officials. As a culmination of these efforts, recommendations for the next steps of the building were brought forward to the City Commission on Dec. 14, 2016 where they discussed the future of the Historic Waterworks building.

KCCI’s team was pleased the Commission voted to:

-Initiate a proposed rezoning to include a Historic Preservation Overlay over the Waterworks property and building.

-Establish “Funding for Historical Resources” as a 2017 legislative priority to ensure that the grants recommended are funded.

-Proceed with the architectural assessment in early 2017 to ensure that assessment results are received prior to Legislative grant funding.

-Authorize the issuance of an RFP to sell the Waterworks site subject to the various grant restrictions.

The Commission’s decision means that the ultimate goal of the Waterworks project is to have an end use that results in a sustainable and economically viable enterprise that complements the surrounding area, including Cascades Park and the Bloxham and Firestone block redevelopment. Regardless of the specific use of the building, the team recommended that there be an educational component highlighting the Waterworks’ history and impact upon Tallahassee’s growth and development.

The team identified $550,000 in State funding that would help preserve the historical building near Cascades Park. May 2017 Governor Rick Scott approved $50,000 of state dollars for the Waterworks project. This State of Florida funding will help improve the building, while keeping it on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Preserving the historical qualities of the building while moving development forward on this site are important to this community,” said Melissa VanSickle, Chair for the 2016 KCCI Waterworks team. “The City Commission’s December vote was the first step in making sure that the historical integrity of this community asset will be preserved no matter how it is redeveloped. It has been a pleasure working with the community, Commissioners and staff to move this project forward to activate this area.”

Check out the video designed by Evolution Media in Spring 2016 that helped raise awareness of the historic building.

The team enjoyed working together with the community to make sure this deserted building becomes a world-class asset for our All American City.


Community Catalysts

These are the people who helped make this project possible.

  • Althemese Barnes
  • Amy Bradbury
  • Melissa Franklin
  • Kevin Graham
  • Bob Howard
  • Alissa Lotane
  • Jessica Lowe-Minor
  • Serena Moyle
  • Andi Nelson
  • Carlos Rey
  • Rob Rushin
  • Dorsey Spencer
  • Wayne Spinks
  • Matt Tharpe
  • Melissa VanSickle
  • Alex Workman