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Aerial Rendering of 33 acre development

Breaking New Ground in Tallahassee, Florida

Breaking New Ground in Tallahassee, FL

While the ground is (thoroughly) frozen solid here in the Midwest, our shovels had no problems breaking ground last month on a large-scale development and construction project in Tallahassee, Florida. Over the course of 2018, Russell’s team of real estate, construction and estimating professionals competed against developers from all over the country to provide leased office solutions to three State of Florida agencies: the Fish and Wildlife Commission, Department of Management Services and the Department of Transportation.

Why Tallahassee?
Late in 2017, over 600,000 s.f. of office space was issued for an Intent to Negotiate (ITN) by the Florida Department of Management Services. Russell learned of the potential projects through real estate brokers we had previously collaborated with. Fast forward to summer 2018, and Russell’s team being awarded over 160,000 sf of office leases – after a few rounds of interviews and negotiations.

Russell’s past and current portfolio of work lends to this development and construction project perfectly.  Having previously completed projects in Miami and Fort Meyers, Florida for Nortrax – A John Deere Retailer and a wealth of federal government contracting experience with the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and Social Security Administration, Russell’s team was ready to hit the ground running. Additionally, the combination of government design/build knowledge and the ability to mobilize resources in the southeast have made this development project a slam dunk for Russell.


Idea to Execution
There are numerous puzzles pieces that must converge for a successful development and construction project to come to fruition. Prior to winning the award from the three State agencies, Russell’s development and estimating teams spent considerable time analyzing the project inside-and-out, backwards and forwards to mitigate as much risk as possible.

For example, site selection was a large motivating factor for the future tenants. The chosen site is located on 33 acres of a 245 acre Planned Unit Development (PUD), created in 2012, which the landowner and city identified as a superior location for growth in the community. New market rate multi-family housing developments, a 200,000 s.f. Veteran’s Affairs outpatient clinic, retail and more have all been opened since the PUD installation. The new Russell Office Park  will bring over 600 employees to the district by the end of 2019, balancing out the mix of uses within the PUD.

These types of projects cannot happen without extreme partnerships. Prior to breaking ground, the development financing efforts were led by Russell’s Chief Financial Officer, Vicky Diamond. Russell was able to acquire the 33 acres of land prior to construction financing thanks to our lending partnership locally with Blackhawk State Bank. For construction financing, we leveraged another local relationship, our CFO and Wells Fargo Quad Cities Market President / National Private Banking Manager, collaborated with the Wells Fargo mid-market team in Minneapolis to create a conventional financing packet for the entire development.

With leases negotiated, design and space planning all completed, the construction focused side of Russell’s team is now hitting the ground running in Florida. City approvals and permits have been issued for installation of three single-story, structural steel buildings along with extensive site work for onsite detention and landscaping. The Class A office interiors will include a mixture of enclosed offices, open workstations and collaboration spaces.

Along with the office park, there is an additional 7 acres of land available for development. More about the available land can be found here: 
TLG Commercial Real Estate – Russell Outparcel

Russell has the professional staff to provide development and construction solutions for projects throughout the United States. The Russell Office Park in Tallahassee is a perfect example of a one-stop shop approach that Russell can bring to any Owner.  From site selection, financing, lease negotiations, design/space planning/entitlements and construction, we can provide the solution that you need.

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Aerial view of building pad for the Department of Transportation

For more information on how we can help you bring your project to life, please contact Caitlin Russell:

Caitlin Russell
Senior Vice President
(563) 459-4600