Last updated: 4/26/2018
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Leon County FL
Leon County is among the best places to live in Florida, one of the main reasons being that its county seat and largest city, Tallahassee, is also the state’s capital, and thus, it encapsulates all that Florida has to offer both to residents and visitors alike.
The county spreads boot-like on the Florida Panhandle at the northernmost part of the state and borders the Georgia counties Grady and Thomas north and northeast, respectively. Leon County was created in 1824 and named after Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who led the first European expedition to reach Florida.
Leon County has a total area of 702 square miles, with its bodies of water accounting for 35 square miles. The county is within the Red Hills (a.k.a. Tallahassee Hills) Region shared by Florida and Georgia with distinctive flora and fauna. The topography of this region is evident in the rolling hills that dominate most of northern Leon County, which set it apart from much of Florida’s characteristically flat terrain.
For outdoor activities, Leon County offers the Apalachicola National Forest, the largest U.S. National Forest in Florida. Located in the southern part of the county, this destination is popular among aficionados of horse-back riding, mountain biking and off-road ATV riders. Its various sites are also suited for hiking, hunting fishing, boating, and swimming.
Venues for less arduous leisure pursuits likewise abound in this county. One popular attraction is the 24-acre Cascades Park in Tallahassee. Its facilities include an amphitheater, an outdoor classroom area, splash pads, ponds, beachscape and a lighted fountain with background music.
Besides these recreational points of interest, Tallahassee and Leon County as whole enjoy a relatively stable economy that serves as a magnet for new residents and business locators.
Tallahassee, in particular, has a comparatively low unemployment rate, with the technology sector emerging in recent years as one of its leading employers.
Tallahassee has, in fact, earned the reputation of being “Silicon Valley South,” largely as a result of the initiatives of institutions like Smart Park, a 130-acre privately owned fiber-optic research center. Innovation Park/Tallahassee is another project which contributed in elevating the Leon County seat to pursuits of cutting-edge technology and laying claim to the title as the country’s most wired community.
Innovation Park/Tallahassee is notably affiliated with the public universities Florida State University (FSU) and Florida A&M University both based in Leon County. FSU has likewise initiated the Arena District project set to establish a new convention center and a hotel as well as relocating to the Tallahassee site its College of Business.
Since 2017, downtown Tallahassee has been experiencing a construction boom. As of the 2018 first quarter, 120 major projects are in the pipeline in the city core, with apartment complexes and hotels among those lined up. These developments include the Cascades Project, a mixed-use complex costing $158-million for the construction of townhouses, apartments, and a five-story hotel. Set across a two-block site, this project also involves development of commercial office space and a restaurant site. North American Properties, its developer, estimates that Cascades will generate some 2,900 jobs.