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Redevelopment Project Subject of Saturday Workshop

The City Council, acting as the Temple Terrace Redevelopment Agency, will convene at 9 a.m. at City Hall to discuss the downtown plan.

Redevelopment Project Subject of Saturday Workshop

Following a Temple Terrace Redevelopment Agency meeting Tuesday, City Council members will come together again Saturday to further discuss the downtown redevelopment project.

The workshop will take place at 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers at and will also be live on Verizon Channel 39 and Bright House Channel 950.

During the Tuesday meeting, the council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, and the Vlass group, which is developing the property, discussed the same issues that they have been talking about since March. At that time, . 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.

Since then, both sides have argued over putting retail on the first floor of the apartment buildings; ceiling heights on the first floor of the apartment buildings; the amount of parking spaces at the site; and other issues.

The council and many Temple Terrace residents have said they’d like to see retail on the first floor of the apartments. The Vlass group has said obtaining financing for such construction isn’t possible in today’s market.

The arguing seemed to die down in May when both sides came to a rough consensus. The solution was to .

But in June, Vlass’ attorney, David Smith, asked council members to agree that:

  • Ceiling heights on the first floor of the three buildings that would make up the residential units would be 14 feet from floor to ceiling;
  • Vlass would attempt to find first-floor retail tenants beginning June 1 by marketing “Main Street Commercial” in fliers and brochures, signs at the redevelopment site, qualified uses, industry events, and create a lease plan for possible tenants;
  • Building permits would be obtained by Oct. 1 and buildings would be constructed in anticipation of commercial on the ground floor until Feb. 1, 2013 at which time buildings would be retrofitted to residential use; and
  • There is enough parking at the site.

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Tuesday’s meeting between the council and Vlass lasted five hours. Afterward, city staff met with Vlass for an estimated four hours.

On Saturday, the council, acting again as the TTRA, will talk with city staff about the project in the form of a workshop.

“… because it’s a workshop, they cannot vote,” said Michael Dunn, the city’s public information officer. “If it were a TTRA meeting, then they could vote to make a recommendation to the city council.”

The workshop is open to the public.

“In accordance with TTRA workshop policy, no public comment will be taken,” Dunn said.

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