Latest News (August 17th, 2003):

On Thursday, July 31st, there was a meeting of the City of Temple Terrace Revitalization Agency (TTRA, formerly known as the CRA). The TTRA is composed of the City Council, Mayor, and City Manager. Here are the highlights of that meeting:

  • The City’s closing date for the purchase of Kash ‘N Karry parcel is in October.
  • Regarding the City’s purchase of Terrace Plaza from the Bickimer Brothers, consultant Attorney Mark Linsky stated that the Bickimers would accept the City’s latest offer of $7.5 million for the parcel and also recommended the insertion of provisos in the contract making the Bickimers responsible for any existing property owner claims and closing costs. However, Tampa Tribune reporter Michael Dunn stated in a recent article that he had subsequently spoken to Charles Bickmer who said, “The stipulations could hamper the deal, or drive up the price.”
  • The TTRA agreed to commission property appraisals for the three outparcels north of Chicago avenue: Beacon Plaza, Regions Bank, and the Chevron gas station, with the goal of acquiring them for the Revitalization. The overwhelming TTRA attitude was that the Town Planner should be presented with as large a “clean slat” as possible regarding Revitalization property control.
  • Regarding the Beacon Plaza issue, the property owner indicated that his family “had no intention of selling the property outright” but would consider:

a) Working within the confines of the Master Plan and accept relocation if the Master Plan requires it.

b) Remodeling Beacon Plaza at owner’s expense “to match the Revitalization” (probably not viable in CRTT’s opinion).

c) Swapping Beacon Plaza for another property of equal value in the Revitalization area. The TTRA seemed to favor this suggestion. (As a side note, it is rumored that the City’s Revitalization riverfront land could be considered for a potential swap or sale now or later— we believe it is imperative that ownership of this parcel be retained by the City and included as part of the Town Planner’s “clean slate.”

  • Regarding the selection of the Town Planner, the Town Planner Selection Advisory Committee will meet on August 28th to interview the four short list Town Planner candidates. After the SAC’s ranking, the City will begin negotiating with the top ranked firm, and if unsuccessful will proceed with negotiations with the next one as ranked by the SAC. We believe that the City must control of all of the Revitalization area parcels before the Planner conducts the public charrette to create the Mater Plan, although if property acquisition lags, the planner may already be on board to make recommendations pertaining to the property acquisition process.
  • Concerning the search for our new CRA Director, the City Manager stated that he would like to continue the ads for the position for several more weeks and that the City has received several hopeful candidates. Councilman Joe Affronti, an outspoken supporter of the Revitalization (“we can’t afford not to do it”) stated that he would like to have the new TTRA Director hired by the end of summer. Councilman Chillura stated that he would like to have the new TTRA Director on board before the Town Planner is selected. There has been no mention as yet of the creation of a new TTRA Director Selection Committee. Community Development director Mike Delk was appointed interim TTRA Director.
  • The City Manager mentioned that the U.S. Post Office Carriers Annex (8633 56th Street) and Parts America (8635 56th Street) have approached the City about several possibilities regarding Federal Government involvement (Postal Service), and the willingness of other property owners to sell. The TTRA directed City Staff to investigate. Councilman Chillura said,  “The best time to purchase property is when the owner wants to sell.”
  • We believe CRTT’s motto might be “From Bullard all the way to the river!”

Lastly, the City Manager mentioned that an out-of-state investor has expressed an interest in buying the City’s current City Hall facility and then leasing it back to the City. There was not much comment from the CRA other than to express that the idea may have some merit. There has been discussion lately as to whether the new City Hall should be located in the SE Quadrant. Since our Revitalization will be “mixed-use,” we might refer to the book Suburban Nation : The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. It defines a “Mixed Use Development” on pages 187-191. The following elements are listed in detail: 1.) residential neighborhoods; 2.) a corner store (in our case “neighborhood-scale: shopping); 3.) places to work; 4.) an even balance of residents and jobs and 5.) civic buildings. Indeed, the book indicates “civic buildings are a required element for any new community, and insists,“Land should be reserved for them at the most prominent locations – a main intersection or the town square. We believe that the center of town is the ideal place for our municipal spaces, including City Hall and assembly areas such as a community and cultural arts center.

Related posts:

  1. News (June 17th, 2003)
  2. Latest News (September 20, 2003):
  3. Latest News (July 12th, 2003)
  4. Latest News – April 26, 2003
  5. Latest News (November 2, 2003)
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