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.”