University Village has long been a major shopping location on the west side of the city. With access to Florida State University close by, it has been a location of student housing and activities for years. This dynamic has resulted in a mix of tenants, ranging from a United States Post Office to local clubs and restaurants serving the nearby residents.
The center was originally two properties, joined at some time by construction that appears consistent, but is not. Construction types vary greatly; canopy conditions, storefronts, signage, and circulation have suffered as a result. ADA access is compromised due to serious grade changes and the sloping sidewalk added over the years.
+HSHA was asked to study the facade and storefront area and propose revisions that would give the center a facelift. This study included correcting the code compliant issues, unify the look of the center with new facade construction, and provide a signage attachment method that will satisfy codes and ordinances while allowing change over time without adversely affecting the finishes and elements of the facade.
The study resulted in a design of lightweight metal fascia and a revised canopy structure that unifies and provides a consistent face to the center. Tenants can expect a consistent look to their exterior spaces, whether they are a small, single-bay storefront or a larger multiple-bay anchor. Seating and dining areas are planned along the canopy walkway, providing a strategic solution to the ADA access issue by providing a landscaped meandering pathway for everyone to enjoy. Access is pleasant and fluid to all tenants. Landscaping provides a refreshing contrast to the asphalt parking lot everyone has grown accustomed to and the new facade is a consistent backdrop to shopping, dining, and events provided by tenants.
University village - now known as Ocala Corner - has an opportunity to remake the west end of Tallahassee’s urban scene.