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Council Accepts Initial Arts Center Site Plan

The measure is a small step forward in the downtown redevelopment project.

The Temple Terrace downtown redevelopment project is beginning to move forward again after nearly a year on pause.

The Temple Terrace City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the preliminary site plan for the Arts & Education Center building, which will be located across from the 1-acre park and gazebo in the redevelopment area.

Back in October 2012, the council approved a conceptual floor plan for the Arts Center. The council doesn’t usually vote on floor plans, but Vlass Temple Terrace, the developer of the project, asked the council to do so.

The redevelopment project spent much of 2012 stalled while the city and developer argued over a residential portion that is planned to front Arts Center Drive. Both sides are still discussing that part of the project.

The Arts Center building, or Building J as it appears in drawings of the 21-acre downtown site, will house the Arts & Education Center, as well as retail space. It will be 26,800 square feet and will sit on 1.5 acres.

The Arts Center itself will have a theater and classrooms. It will take up 16,800 square feet and front Arts Center Drive, across from the proposed residences.

The remaining 10,000 square feet will make up the retail space, which will front 56th Street.

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The next step in the process is for Vlass to submit a final site plan with building elevations and detailed, colored renderings, said Brad Parrish, the city’s senior planner. The city is also asking Vlass to resubmit any changes to the footprint of the building that the council has previously approved, although Parrish said the changes Vlass has made aren’t significant.

“It would be reasonable that a final site plan could be submitted to you fairly soon,” said Mark Connolly, the city’s attorney.

The only potential problem Connolly said he sees with the process is that Vlass has not submitted documents to the city that outline the obligations the city might have to share with retail tenants, such as maintenance to common areas.

“The time for getting documents to us—from my standpoint—that time is now,” Connolly said.

Mark Sneed, a Vlass Temple Terrace partner, told the council that Vlass’ intention has always been to develop the entire downtown area, and once the documents are written, they would apply to the whole project.

He said David Smith, Vlass’ attorney, would work out that aspect of the project with the city, but the Vlass group has not yet retained Smith to draft the documents.

Connolly maintained that having those documents in place is important.

“We want to keep this process moving forward,” he said.

See also:

  • City to ‘Step Up’ Communication with Developer Vlass
  • Redevelopment Revision Voted Down
  • Downtown Redevelopment Project Still at Impasse
  • Arts Center Expected to Open Fall 2013
  • City Denies Redevelopment Proposal

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