TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Despite the pandemic, the development along Cascades Park moves ahead.
For the first time, ABC 27 gets an inside look at the project that’s bringing hundreds of jobs to the area.
Construction is going at full steam ahead at Cascades Park in Tallahassee.
“It’s been challenging coming through the pandemic,” said Keith Hoogerheyde.
Hoogerheyde is the General Manager of what will be The Marriott AC Hotel in a year where the travel and tourism industry has taken a big hit, due to the pandemic.
“Getting back to some semblance of normal for next year, we’re very much looking forward to our opening,” Hoogerheyde said.
The hotel will add about 150 hospitality jobs to the area.
“It’s going to be insane,” said Amanda Morrison with For the Table Hospitality. “It’s going to be unlike anything Tallahassee has ever seen.”
For the Table Hospitality will oversee the rooftop bar tied to the hotel, and when the rooftop bar opens up next spring, it’ll support dozens of jobs.
“We’ll probably be adding 30-40 members to our already large hospitality group,” Morrison said.
Shawn McIntyre is Managing Partner for Florida with North American Properties.
“Unfortunately, with the pandemic, the openings might be slower,” said McIntyre.
McIntyre kept the project going while keeping workers healthy through specific protocols.
“A project entry where everyone had to come in and have their temperature taken every single day,” McIntyre said.
When those construction jobs come to an end next year, he’s looking forward to welcoming businesses that are looking to grow. Something that has Greg Kitchens with Artia Solutions already excited to set up shop here.
“We’ve added three employees since the pandemic started,” said Kitchens. “Our plan is to just keep growing.”
Moving Tallahassee forward as the Big Bend continues to Rebound.
“There will be a lot of permanent jobs in here,” McIntyre said.
The hotel and bar could be up and running by next March or April with hiring expected to start around the first of the year.
An economic analysis commissioned by the Office of Economic Vitality expects the project to create nearly 700 permanent jobs and generate an ongoing annual economic output of more than $64 million, making this one of the region’s largest economic development projects in recent history.
You can see more of the plans online by clicking here.