TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A piece of Tallahassee history is about to get new life. The former passenger station, which still stands along the tracks near the corner of All Saints Street and Railway Avenue, is nearing completion of a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Earlier this year, we took you to the station, which has served the capital for more than a century. We recently took an updated look at the progress being made inside and how it will serve the city for decades to come.
The Tallahassee Train Station has seen many changes over the years, but now this building steeped in Big Bend history is on its way to a new purpose.
“We couldn’t be more excited to come to this location and this beautifully restored historic building in an area that has all the growth and energy,” explained Kerry Post, PrincipalLeon County Department of Tourism. Tourism is a big economic driver in the Tallahassee area. With about 500 hotel rooms within two blocks of the new visitor information center, Post added, “we are very excited to be able to serve visitors.”
Post added that the total cost of restoring the building is about $3.5 million. It was originally estimated at $2.3 or $2.4 million. Post explained that the pandemic and inflation caused prices to rise during construction. The money for labor comes from the tourism development tax.
We took you inside first this building during demolition last fall. They are now working on supply chain issues to put the finishing touches on the space. “Building always takes a little longer when you have a historical overlay to really get it right,” Post added.
“I think the revitalization of downtown and the south end is really important in the collaboration that we have in the community,” Robert Blackledge said. He is the executive director for Domi station, a business incubator. They have a space just across the parking lot from the former train station. “Having an organization like Visit Tallahassee on board really allows us to highlight what’s already there,” Blackledge added. He said he looks forward to seeing an increase in visitors and potential business people looking to invest in our community.
“Tallahassee is a great place to start and grow a company. Domi has been at the center of it for a long time,” Blackledge said.
Blackledge and Post said they hope the investment in the station can light the way for even bigger projects in the future.
Last month we talked about Amtrak possible return to this area. Post said that because the building is now owned by the county, Amtrak will have to set up a station elsewhere in the city when passenger rail service returns.