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BL Harbert International to Transform Mall into State Government Office Space

Birmingham, Ala. — BL Harbert International (BLHI) is proud to be the construction partner of Birmingham-based developer Blackwater Resources (Blackwater) in their latest redevelopment effort of transforming vacant retail into office space for three Florida state agencies.

In July 2018, Blackwater first approached BLHI and asked for preconstruction services on the Centre of Tallahassee project. Subsequently, Blackwater awarded BLHI the contract to start demolition, and the phased construction process began in November 2018.

Among the future tenants are the Department of Health (DOH), Department of State Division of Corporations (DOS) and Department of Children & Families (DCF). Construction of the DOH and DOS offices completed in the third quarter of 2019, which totaled over $25 million. The DCF renovation began in October 2019 at a cost above $35 million. Project improvements include a complete new interior buildout, mechanical, electrical and fire protection system upgrades, roofing, exterior envelope improvements, hardscaping and landscaping. The overall project is more than 415,000 square feet of Class A office space.

“As the growth of retail big box stores slows, projects like the Centre of Tallahassee are great opportunities to revitalize abandoned space for new tenants to enjoy for years to come,” said Jeremy Pipkin, Vice President & Industrial Division Manager at BLHI.

“We started this project with the knowledge we owned a large, well-located property within the Tallahassee community and just needed a catalyst for redevelopment,” said John Abernathy President of Blackwater Resources. “As retail expansion began to slow nationally, the opportunity to bring a charter school and large State of Florida offices to the existing retail stores has now added daily traffic in excess of 2,500 employees, families and students. The Centre of Tallahassee continues to evolve from a mall to a true mixed-use property, and we are excited about the future.”

Construction is expected to be completed in March 2021.


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