UPDATE: Council to Vote on Redevelopment Proposal Sept. 18
The Temple Terrace City Council and developer Vlass Temple Terrace are ending their negotiations with regard to the proposed apartment buildings in the downtown redevelopment area.
Update: City leaders, noting strong public interest in the downtown redevelopment project, are taking steps to provide a status report to residents, according to a City of Temple Terrace press release issued Sept. 7 at 11:10 a.m. The revised proposal that developer Vlass Temple Terrace is supposed to submit is expected soon. A meeting will be scheduled to allow the City Council acting as the Temple Terrace Redevelopment Agency to assess whether proposed changes will meet the city’s needs.
Saturday’s workshop on the Temple Terrace downtown redevelopment project was the last that the city and developer Vlass Temple Terrace will have regarding the proposed apartment buildings at the site.
Vlass’ attorney, David Smith, told City Council members acting as the Temple Terrace Redevelopment Agency Saturday that they need to make a final decision on the project.
“I have been advised this is my last workshop, so I will not be attending another workshop,” Smith said. “And I think I know exactly where the council stands. I think you know where we are.”
So, council members will either accept or reject Vlass’ final revised plan at their Sept. 18 meeting. They denied Vlass’ original proposal in March as it called for several changes to the master development agreement (MDA), a city document that outlines what the developer can and can’t do.
“We have to decide one way or another,” said Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti. “We can’t keep going—it’s been almost a year now.”
The major contention since March has revolved around the first floor of the apartment buildings. The council and many Temple Terrace residents have said they’d like to see retail on the first floor. The Vlass group has said obtaining financing for such construction isn’t possible in today’s market.
Both sides have negotiated, making concessions and revisions.
Vlass and the city still have not come to a consensus on several points, including:
- what the industry standard is for ceiling heights;
- how ceiling heights would be measured;
- Vlass’ marketing obligation to obtain retail tenants on the first floor;
- how much retail space would be built on the first floor with the option of retrofitting it to residential if retail tenants are not found;
- how long Vlass would keep spec retail space available;
- how much parking is adequate;
- who would maintain common areas; and
- when the Arts & Education Center and new library would be built.
Smith said Saturday that he would submit Vlass’ final revised plan to the city by the end of this week.
“What I would propose that we do is that I get you the revision that makes the most changes we can live with,” Smith said.
He asked the council to forgo another workshop and vote up or down on Sept. 18.
“I think what I’m hearing here is that there’s going to be very little change from what you’re proposing now,” Affronti said to Smith at the end of Saturday’s workshop.
“That’s correct,” Smith replied.
Should the city acquiesce to the developer’s final proposal? Tell us in the comments.