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Old 11-13-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
779 posts, read 841,069 times
Reputation: 360

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaq View Post
Why isn't Tallahassee Florida a much bigger, more influential city? It is the capital for one of the largest states, plus it's a college town for Florida State, a major university. Other similar cities, such as Austin TX and Columbus OH, are massive. They are both state capitals and college towns, and have over 800,000 people. Meanwhile Tallahassee has 180,000. So why is it some cities like Austin thrive, while similar cities such as Tallahassee remain small?
I think a lot of it has to do with the leadership of the city as well. I lived there for a year a few years ago and couldn't wait to leave. I transferred there for a job like many people do but other than the job, the city had relatively little to offer me. I moved away 3 years ago and have never been back even one time since then. That says a lot.

Even for a city the size of Tallahassee, the leadership of the city could do much more to improve quality of life in terms of infrastructure, transit, public amenities, etc. I think geography has a little bit to do with it but not as much as other factors. The city has a lot of influence and a lot of people coming in and out every year. What if those people wanted to stay when they were finished with school, a work project, or something else?

What types of projects could make a huge impact on this perception that people have while living there? I think most of what needs to be done is attracting millenials like most cities are trying to do. Tallahassee is really fun for a college student but I think they leave looking for more once that period of their life comes to an end.

Overall, I think Tallahassee is a really charming city with a lot of appeal. The green space of the city makes a huge impact for sure.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:41 AM
 
489 posts, read 936,265 times
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It starts with jobs and companies. I'm a Tallahassee native (although I no longer live there, my parents still do) and in the early 90s Tallahassee leadership started a campaign to make it the next Austin, TX. Austin was basically the blueprint (Southern capital, state with large population, major universities) for what Tallahassee should aspire to. They attracted the High Magnetic Lab to Tallahassee and put it in "Innovation Park" (a land grant near the airport that ostensibly was supposed to be akin to RTP in Raleigh/Durham or other high-tech areas).

Except...nothing ever got off the ground. Some of it is luck (the city never had a Michael Dell like Austin start a company that ended up changing and leading an entire industry, which then attracts a critical mass of other companies plugging into the industry space). The population base was inherently too small for high tech companies to relocate there (why would you when you could go to SF, Boston, RTP, Austin, etc. where there was already a lot of human and financial capital for continued success) or start there (no seed money or angel investor base). The university system isn't good enough (FSU doesn't hold a candle to UNC/Duke/NCState, UT-Austin or Stanford/Berkeley). Finally, the city's leadership never really figured out all of the complementary inputs necessary to make this work. They literally thought that subsidizing more airline flights into town while setting aside some land and physical infrastructure for scientific research would be sufficient (the one exception is the MagLab, which they thought could be the technological "Dell" of the area, a misguided calculus).

Frankly, I think Tallahassee is one of the most inherently underrated/unrecognized places in the country. It has a hauntingly beautiful geographical/physical setting (rolling hills, large lakes, ancient live oaks dripping with spanish moss, flowers everywhere, immaculately clean air off the Gulf of Mexico, seabreezes/thunderstorms to cool it off on hot summer afternoons) and the basis to be an attractive community to those who gravitate towards technologies of the future (educated, progressive population; strong fine arts school in FSU attracting caliber of performing arts way above what one would expect for its size).

I'd love nothing more than to move back to Tallahassee permanently, but it's not even close to feasible given that I'm in high tech. And if you can't get a native who's still totally in love with the place to figure out a way to make it work, how can you build the city?
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,087 posts, read 38,446,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
That said...Raleigh also was chosen as the capital of NC when it was essentially nothing, and it's become quite a center of activity and development with nearly 2 million people in the CSA. So what was the difference?? I'm no historian but I'll guess that NCSU, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest (until relatively recently), Shaw University, etc >> FSU and FAMU. Also it's very centrally located within a fairly large state, as well as in close proximity to a handful of large cities in the region. Tallahassee is not centrally located at all...for the state or to other large cities.
I think Raleigh is way more centrally located for North Carolina though.

In Florida, the majority of the population is in Tampa, Orlando, or Miami. Tallahassee might as well be in a completely different state...in regards to people who live down there...
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:31 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 2,370,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Absolutely! Tallahassee was nothing when it was chosen as the capital, and it really has few advantages besides the ones already cited. You did leave off FAMU, which is a major public university and also the largest HBCU in the country.

That said...Raleigh also was chosen as the capital of NC when it was essentially nothing, and it's become quite a center of activity and development with nearly 2 million people in the CSA. So what was the difference?? I'm no historian but I'll guess that NCSU, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest (until relatively recently), Shaw University, etc >> FSU and FAMU. Also it's very centrally located within a fairly large state, as well as in close proximity to a handful of large cities in the region. Tallahassee is not centrally located at all...for the state or to other large cities.
Exactly
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
727 posts, read 1,385,664 times
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I lived in Richmond, VA for 15 years, and in many ways it is similar to Tallahassee. Richmond has 1.5 million people living in the area, while Tallahassee has 375,000 people. Richmond is the Capital of Virginia and has VCU and University of Richmond, just like Tallahassee is the Capital of Florida and has FSU and FAMU.

Richmond has several Fortune 500 companies based there (Altria, Dominion Resources, Carmax, Genworth Financial, Owens and Minor, and MeadWestvaco), while Tallahassee does not. It also helps that Richmond is 100 miles south of Washington, DC, and people are fleeing the high cost of living in DC to RVA. Also, Richmond is very good at keeping graduates of VCU in the Richmond area, whereas graduates of FSU and FAMU head back to their home towns or elsewhere once they graduate.


I've spent time in Tallahassee, and while I think it's a fun little town, there is little incentive for me to want to live there.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Florida Big Bend area
17 posts, read 13,392 times
Reputation: 33
I was born in Tallahassee in a hospital that used to be on Gadsden Street I hawked boiled peanuts in town in the 50's. Think it's small now? When the colleges and the Legislature were out for the summer it was nothing, period! Now school goes year round and there are actually some manufacturing companies there. It's grown way to big for me. For most of it's time Tallahassee has been intentionally kept small to preserve the 'small town' atmosphere, and to maintain it's political neutrality.
I now live between Tallahassee and the coast and only go to town when I have to, just too damn big for this old Florida Cracker.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Satellite Beach
75 posts, read 94,877 times
Reputation: 149
"For most of it's time Tallahassee has been intentionally kept small to preserve the 'small town' atmosphere"

I hear this a lot (with no one really giving an explanation), but who or what is the reasoning behind that?

The "political neutrality" part I've never heard before.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Alabama
2,222 posts, read 3,044,582 times
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Who wants Tallahassee to turn into a big city? I sure don't. I lived there for several years, and it's a great place. The natural aesthetics are breathtaking, especially by FL standards. I would consider moving back given the right opportunity, but it is already too big for my liking. The traffic is already a nightmare. If it turned into Austin or Raleigh, I would never think of moving back.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,762 posts, read 4,758,239 times
Reputation: 6913
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUMike View Post
Who wants Tallahassee to turn into a big city? I sure don't. I lived there for several years, and it's a great place. The natural aesthetics are breathtaking, especially by FL standards. I would consider moving back given the right opportunity, but it is already too big for my liking. The traffic is already a nightmare. If it turned into Austin or Raleigh, I would never think of moving back.
It will never turn into an Austin or Raleigh, thankfully. It will continue to grow at a moderate rate, like it has for years. I love Tallahassee, but I can't imagine traffic being a nightmare there?
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Miami
1,821 posts, read 2,511,975 times
Reputation: 920
What some call traffic, others would... not. Being from Miami, I could never consider anywhere in Tallahassee having traffic nightmares.

Tallahassee can't be compared to Austin, Richmond or Raleigh and will never be like those cities. There's no airport. Most major companies won't relocate there. If they even had one airline like Southwest or JetBlue, but they don't. It's not like they're a suburb of Jacksonville or Orlando either. You have quite a trek if you want to fly in or out or have cash to burn with a regional flight. It's always going to be limited, but maybe that's what they want.
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