What Residents Are Saying About Upcoming Redevelopment Decision

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the residential portion of the downtown project Sept. 18. Here’s what Patch readers are saying.

At the request of David Smith, the attorney for Vlass Temple Terrace, which is developing the city’s downtown redevelopment project, the City Council will decide the fate of the residential aspect of the project at its Sept. 18 meeting.

, and Smith told them it's time to make a final decision.

“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 during the workshop.

The Sept. 18 vote will put an end to negotiations that both sides have been making since the council The plan called for several changes to the master development agreement (MDA), a city document that outlines what the developer can and can’t do.

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.

Many Temple Terrace Patch readers who have commented about Saturday’s workshop are encouraging the city to move forward with the redevelopment project without the Vlass group.

“Vlass was given the property with full knowledge of the requirements of the MDA,” wrote reader . “While some negotiation is acceptable, they are trying to change the whole New Urbanist concept that our community envisioned from the beginning. Anyone can come build apartments and strip center. Either they follow the MDA or thay can leave.”

“This is our one and only opportunity to make our city something others will envy,” wrote reader . “Vlass has no vision of our dream, our wants nor our needs.”

“As I mentioned before this project does not rise or fall based on Vlass’ involvement,” reader . “We don't need to continue to be desperate beggars.”

“This request for changes to the MDA has dragged on too long....is this what is going to happen for every Phase of the development?,” wrote reader . “Are we going to have so many changes to the MDA that when this is all finished we don't even recognize the plan the citizens of Temple Terrace were promised and deserve?”

“Send Vlass packing before they make our home values plummet with cheap wooden apartments filling our downtown,” wrote reader . “Apartments was not our dream for the center of our downtown, and they all know it!!”

“Yep, send the developer packing, I agree, I believe we can see that Real Estate is moving, we do not need anymore apartments, lets do what we started out to do,” wrote reader Annette Renny.

“It seems as if the citizens of Temple Terrace have decided they don't want to cave in to Vlass pressure,” wrote reader Mike. “The concessions Vlass is requesting make the proposed redevelopment far different from the redevelopment plan agreed upon.”

Pam Devoid September 07, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I pray the council holds their ground and does not buckle to this money hungry bully of a developer. I love my city, hoping for the best, happy to see that maybe our council will get rid of Vlass once and for all.
Annette Renny September 07, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I have faith that our council and our attorney will stay strong for our city, the residents. This is our city, this is not what we want, or have ever wanted. Lets say this, better that Vlass walks and it stay vacant than to build ugly apartments that we don't need. A
Carol Dell September 07, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The citizens of Temple Terrace have one last time to express their concerns about the developer's request to change the MDA....at the September 18.... meeting before the Council votes.
Pam Devoid September 07, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I think we should rally the largest group of citizens to date to appear at the meeting on September 18th. At this point it is obvious what the residents want, we are not without the ability to compromise, but what Vlass wants is not compromise but a complete plan change. Show the council where the residents stand, because council has a difficult decision ahead. It is easy for us to express what we want as residents, however we need to show our council members that we will back them in the decision to break ties with Vlass and the financial ramifications we will have to deal with once that happens. Better to pay now then watch our city fall apart.
jacqueline trombley September 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
What has happened to our "town" center. Hadn't we envisioned walking on sidewalks and popping into a coffee shop, having lunch or dinner or at least having an interesting shop or two....something to draw us there!!! Perhaps we can find another contractor that shares our vision.
Temple Terrace resident September 07, 2012 at 02:52 PM
"money hungry bully of a developer" - unfortunately,this describes most developers Jacqueline, it's not over yet, our City Council has done a great job holding the line thus far. The question is do we want to build something for short term profit and gain, within the developers short timeframe, to satisy an election cycle, or do we want to build to last? Viable for forty years is the timeframe of the citizenry.
Rollo Tomasi September 07, 2012 at 10:14 PM
NOTICE to all you council members who want to stay in their jobs. You better take note of all the comments and the will of the citizens. You pass some crap to help this developer get rich and get out you'll pay his bill by returning you to a private citizen. This developer does not give a crap about you,me or this city. You give him the means to screw us and you'll be remembered on election day. (If you were smart you would pass a resolution to get rid of that statue too)
UNST3RBLICH September 17, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Rollo, take note that you're posting on an obscure news site. If you think the aforementioned council members are reading your post, much less care about you and your opinionated spewing, you're sadly mistaken.
Pam Devoid September 17, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I disagree 100% with the statement above! Case and point the Mayor himself who was blasted in the Patch and made it a point to address the residents shortly after it happened. No matter if the council reads this or not they know the position of the residents, it has been made perfectly clear at previous council meetings, redevelopment meetings and public hearings in regards to the issue. One thing is for sure there are two council seats available and three people running. I am sure Mary Jane Neale is a wonderful person, but it appeared she was ready to say yes and let Vlass move forward some months back at a public hearing, did not appear to be connecting with what the residents want, for that reason she will not have my vote for city council, once again Chillura for Mayor, Grant Rimbey and Eddie Vance for Council. Vote for the right people and you will see a change.


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