From Mayor Joe Affronti:
I have read the , and it appears that there is a misunderstanding regarding the Developer's obligation under the MDA (Master Development Agreement).
As we have repeatedly stated at our Town Hall meetings, the developer is under no obligation to build condos but is obligated to build “multi-family.” As they have stated, they would like to build condos, but there is no market for them at this time, and it is almost impossible to obtain bank financing to build them. One of the largest and most highly qualified real estate investment companies, Inland Atlantic, has proposed to build 214 high-quality apartments that will increase our density and be more attractive to potential retailers. Under the old Torti Gallis Plan, they were proposing to build more than 1,100 residential units in the same area.
I agree that the green space looks great, but, unfortunately, the green space will not generate any revenue to service the $24 million debt that the City of Temple Terrace has incurred for our redevelopment effort.
The original and current intent of our redevelopment is to create a sense of place, get rid of the blight, create a mixed-use walkable community, create jobs and increase our tax base that would be invested in our city to benefit all citizens. In our last budget workshop, our chief finance officer reported that our overall property values are projected to decrease by 4 percent next year, but the property values in our redevelopment area are projected to increase by 1.7 percent. This is a good indication of how a completed redevelopment project could benefit our city financially.
No one will disagree that what has been done by , thus far has been wonderful in transforming the once blighted area to a beautiful beginning of our new Town Center. Since our initial Town Hall meeting in February, Vlass has made many changes to their initial plan based upon the concerns of our citizens.
The option of not moving forward with this project, in my opinion, would put our city in a very precarious financial position. We absolutely need to move forward with this project.