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Redevelopment Project at Standstill

City officials and the developer are still trying to agree on the next steps.

The is still in limbo as the City of Temple Terrace and Vlass developers try to reach a compromise.

At the City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday evening, City Manager Kim Leinbach said he and the city’s Community Development Director Charles Stephenson talked to Mike Lant of Vlass Temple Terrace Monday.

“It’s a bit of a stalemate,” Leinbach said. “They’re not knowing how to proceed.”

Last week, to discuss their concerns about residential vs. retail use on the ground floor of the three buildings that will make up the residences.

The council favors retail shops on the ground floor, but Vlass has said that isn’t financially feasible in today’s market. Ceiling heights and adequate parking in relation to the residences are also being disputed.

On Tuesday, Leinbach said his plan is to write up the council’s consensus based on the workshop, let council members review it, and then provide it to Vlass.

City Councilman David Pogorilich pointed out (as he has in the past) that the project is currently in Phase 2, which includes the construction of the city’s , still in the design stage. He said Vlass should be focused on the arts center right now instead of the residences, which are scheduled in Phase 3.

“You’re essentially saying that (Vlass) is holding Phase 2 hostage right now?” Pogorilich asked Leinbach.

“I wouldn’t say that at this point, but I’ll ask him,” Leinbach replied.

JS June 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
So Leinbach is going to Vlass and say " Are you holding phase 2 hostage?" LOL< Id like to see that one. What they need to be asked is if the condo market is so horrendous why are other projects proceeding with new construction in the Temple Terrace market?
RL June 21, 2012 at 02:30 PM
The better question is: "did Vlass ever intend to live up to the agreement they originally signed in good faith when they accepted our land?" If Vlass doesn't live up to the agreement, they are the one's holding up the project and will be in breach of the contract. Phase 2 (the Arts Center) follows Phase 1. Get on with it or leave!
JS June 21, 2012 at 03:00 PM
You will never get an answer as to whether Vlass ever intended to live up to the agreement and I am sure the contracts are written so Vlass can walk away. There will never be action for breach. I think it's a safe to take for granted the fact that Vlass will do whatever the hell they can get away with to increase the bottom line. The argument against Condos in the redevelopment district is that they are not economically feasible in the present market environment. City council can point to other condo projects recently underway, both in Temple Terrace and Hillsborough at large. If they are not feasible, why is there any construction at all? What is it that Vlass knows, brilliant as they are, that all these other developers do not? What it boils down to is the margins for Vlass are not as large in a Condo development as they would be in a section 8 apartment complex. And to that I say, tough crap Vlass. Stick to the agreement or go away.
Samuel R "Rick" Hamilton June 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Condos - YES! Apartments - NO!
JHW June 21, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Too bad we can't just continue with a lovely park and green space. All of the green is so relaxing even as it is now. Ofcourse this brings in no revenue, but it really enhances the quality of life in TT. No to apartments.
Barbara June 21, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Get on with Phase 2 .... the Art Center. N need for apartments backing up to other apartments .. and place some of those extra benches on the west side of South 56th Street at the other bus stops ... Who is footing the bill for the elaborate 'architectural' bus stops being constructed at snail-pace ?? The green space is an improvement !
Barbara June 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Get on with Phase 2 .... the Art Center. NO need for apartments backing up to other apartments .. and place some of those extra benches on the west side of South 56th Street at the other bus stops ... Who is footing the bill for the elaborate 'architectural' bus stops being constructed at snail-pace ?? The green space is an improvement !
JS June 21, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I am with Barbara, let's rename it the Temple Terrace Meadow and leave it at that.
Grant Rimbey June 21, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Barbara, this is from the following Patch article regarding the bus stops - http://templeterrace.patch.com/articles/improvements-to-56th-street-temple-heights-road-approved “This is a federal enhancement project,” Leinbach explained. “It’s totally federally-funded. The city has no money in it from our local coffers, you might say.”
Jamie Robe June 21, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I love the bus stops. What a great thing for all the people who have had to stand in the rain and sun. They look well designed and built to last another 75 years. I agree the green space now is actually far better than the dilapidated buildings that were there. It might take more time and negotiation than we would all like now, BUT in the long haul it will be worth it. What an amazing opportunity for all of us... to be part of our city growing in this super way.
JS June 22, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Very interesting article on Marketwatch today. Should be required Temple Terrace Voter reading. "Nevertheless, almost every city official in the nation wants to turn their local retail blights into lovely mixed-use monoliths with fancy stores and restaurants on ground floors and pricey lofts and condos upstairs. This simply isn’t going to work without a high density of upper-income households, Wood said, and in places where it will work, the development process takes years." http://www.marketwatch.com/story/get-used-to-your-crummy-shopping-center-2012-06-22?reflink=MW_GoogleNews&google_editors_picks=true
Grant Rimbey June 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM
"and in places where it will work, the development process takes years" Key sentence
JS June 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Whats even more key that the line your chose is the what precedes it: "This simply isn’t going to work without a high density of upper-income households" Wooden 1 bathroom apartments are not going to attract middle income, let alone upper-income households. We would be better off with Temple Terrace Meadows, a nice green space........
Quentin June 22, 2012 at 04:00 PM
JW is dead on again, plus he says it nicer than I usually do. If you build even condos though they will turn into crap rentals and basically apartments. Thats because wood building condos can not be really called "High end" and based on what we have seen up to this point EVERY corner that can be cut will be to ensure maximum profits.
Grant Rimbey June 22, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Exactly, which is why we are advocating concrete block, not wood stud, larger floor plans, better finishes, ground floor retail with an acceptable floor to floor, enough parking, etc.. The list goes on and on.
John Rice June 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM
The Market Watch article echoes what we all have been saying for years that the plan pushed by Grant and others was not economically feasible. Multiple developers have told us that this cannot work in an area where household income is around $45,000 (surrounding zip codes closer to $25,000) but some in Temple Terrace keep demanding that OPM (Other People's Money) build us the Taj Mahal whether it is successful and sustainable in the long term, or not. I am suggesting when Grant comes up with the 100 million in capital needed to build, he gets to call the shots about about the details above. This deal is not working with our third developer so we should negotiate less density if we have to build apartments to get our money back on the land, so be it, but the higher end apartments should go in block two and the river block. Why are we not exploring just public buildings and parks in new urbanism style in the front block with a compromise to allow them to do high end apartments closer to the river if they give us a smaller downtown in vertical mixed use with a library and arts center above retail in the first block with larger public green spaces. In business usually, you have to give people some of what they want to get what you want. That's how you make a deal. We bought 21 million in land that is probably worth about 15 at this point and costs 1 million a year for interest. We need to do what is feasible, quickly. http://vacationtc.com/ttredevelopment.html
Quentin June 23, 2012 at 02:22 AM
That's true Rimbey has been pushing for it and it is a disaster. But he hopes eternal some magical event will happen and rainbows and ponies will show up as the area become exactly what we wanted. A real person would just say "I was for it but now it is a pig". He will not . If you think you are going to force this developer into spending real money and deliver whats promised while cutting into his potential profits you're too stupid to even talk to. He does not have to do anything because we gave him the moon and have nothing to force him into doing ANYTHING. I heard Rimbey is now running for office. Think about that for a moment, putting certain people in power to assist in the furtherance of this pig is the wrong way to go.
Carol Dell June 23, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I'm glad to see so many good comments about the redevelopment....I hope they have also been expressed to our mayor, city council, and city manager. If not here are links to their emails: http://www.templeterrace.com/govt/manager_index.htm (city manager) http://www.templeterrace.com/govt/council_index.htm ( mayor and city council) Carol Dell
JHW June 25, 2012 at 01:02 AM
John Rice, you are thinking a lot like my gut has directed me to think. However, let's not be so hard on Rimbey either. People thinking both like Rice and Rimbey need to be at the helm and government of our city working on a collaborative, doable compromise that will continue to support the reason I believe in TT and am making improvements to my property to assure my life here continues at the quality I love and support. Thanks, Carol for your input as well. JHW

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