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Mayor: Redevelopment Project Must Move Forward

Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti says the downtown plan is good for the city.


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.

Glen Arven July 08, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Twelve years is a long time to wait.
Quentin July 08, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Wiley you are smoking some good stuff. WE did not agree to this or anything close to it. This deal was done in a back room and done on a night where an opponent councilman was gone and PROMISED no vote would take place. It was voted on and magically the paperwork was ALREADY TYPED UP. It was signed in the back room right after the meeting was done so there could be no re vote. The majority of the residents who are not idiots do not support this pig. As far as fiduciary responsibility goes YOU GAVE AWAY 22 MILLION DOLLARS. so much for that thought. right now the city is cutting everything AGAIN as they have done for the past 5-6 years because they do not have any money in the coffers to cover the bills. They are still paying on the property though and now cutting personnel and services. so Vlass won't be put out or anything he'll be doing fine with this deal. Let's come together all right, to throw this bum out, take back the property and do it properly. New mayor, new City manager new councilman should be able to put this close to the right track. Wishing or wanting does not make it happen. Negativity is a point of view. Yours is obviously skewed...badly
Don Lack July 09, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I agree 100%
Joe Affronti July 09, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Quinten: Talk abour "badly skewed" you appear to be the master. The June 30 2009 Special Council meeting was set well in advance and all Council Members kinew that this was going to be a meeting to vote the proposed MDA up or down. Every Council Member ws initially called before setting the meeting date and ALL members initially agreed with the date. It was after all arrangements were made that one Council Member decided to go out of town. After many months of negotiations and costing our City many thousands of dollars we called this special meeting. The meeting started at 9:00 AM and at approximately12:00 noon I suggested that the attorneys for both parties meet to try to resolve the outstanding issues.. The attorneys worked out all of the legal issues and at approximately 2:00 PM the Attorneys,Staff, Council Members and Vlass's Team reconvenied in the "back room" and and reviewed each legal issue point by point to mke sure both parties were in agreement. With all legal issues resolved three of us decided that based upon our consultant's conclusion that our City would receive a great financial benefit we voted to accept the terms of the MDA. It was never intended to meet without a vote,that was the purpose of the meeting. The papers were drawn up that evening to reflect the modifications made to the MDA as a result to the meeting between Attorneys. How could they possibly been made up in advance without knowing what if any modifications would occurr READ THE MINUTES
Temple Terrace resident July 09, 2012 at 08:00 PM
http://templeterrace.patch.com/articles/mayor-responds-to-reader-comments

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