Latest News (June 22, 2005)

The Revitalization Referendum Campaign got off to a roaring start on May 9th with a Volunteer Rally in the Masque Community Theatre. The event was sponsored by the Revitalization Referendum Committee. whose purpose is to organize the citizen campaign to PASS the August 2 Downtown Revitalization Referendum. About fifty volunteers attended the Rally. Since then the Committee has been meeting every Saturday morning at 9:00 at the Temple Terrace Revitalization Referendum Committee Headquarters, 8874 N. 56th Street, (former Baskin Robbins ice cream shop). For more information on volunteering (or the Revitalization) contact the Terrace Revitalization Referendum Committee Headquarters, 813-983-3173, or email: The Revitalization Referendum Committee Headquarters are open to the public 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There has been talk recently about the Downtown Revitalization’s $300 million cost. Some have asked how it climbed to this number since it was reported as being $150 million previously. At the June 7th Council Meeting, Community Services Director Ralph Bosek “publicly assumed blame for that figure, stating that it was an estimate which was made when they were putting together the initial PowerPoint presentation on the project.” The City’s share of the $300 million bill is $60 million, according to financial consultant Marc McCauley of Robert Charles Lesser & Co. The rest of the bill will be footed by the developer. We’ve already purchased most of the property at the site but Referendum funds will be used in concert with other funds to finance the Revitalization, including land acquisition, parks, green spaces, street lighting, roads, demolition of rundown buildings, and related infrastructure called for in the Downtown Temple Terrace Revitalization Master Plan aka “the Citizens Plan”.

The Developer Review Committee outlined in the last update has been reviewing the proposals and interviewing the Master Developers. The committee reviewed their Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and was set to review their Request for Proposals (RFP) in the coming weeks when two of our short listed developers abruptly dropped out of the RFP process. Both the Trammel Crow Company and the Downtown Renaissance Alliance pulled out citing various reasons for withdrawing. Trammel Crow gave the recent acquisition of another large project as their main reason while the Downtown Renaissance Alliance has had a tough time from the very beginning. Many on the committee doubted the ability of huge Lennar Homes (the main force behind the Downtown Renaissance Alliance) to make the jump from mindless tract home builder to builders of a sensitive, refined New Urbanist downtown, without any relevant prior experience. At the June 21 City Council Meeting, City Council voted 3 to 2 to let UniCorp, the remaining firm on our developer short list, complete the RFP process. They will submit their RFP to the City on Monday, June 27th and will be interviewed by both the Developer Review Committee and City Council. At the suggestion of the Committee, UniCorp has wisely added talented David Kitchens of Cooper Carry Architects to their project team. Cooper Carry was the architect/planner for the Downtown Renaissance Alliance before that developer pulled out of the RFP process and will add much needed planning expertise to the UniCorp team. UniCorp presented a draft copy of their master plan at the June 21st City Council meeting but since Kitchens obviously has not had a chance to work on it, we’ll not yet share our evaluation of that plan.

You may recall that the Torti Gallas planning team created new Design Guidelines and Code (during the creation of the Master Plan) that would be utilized in the downtown or CRA area. This Code allows us to follow the good urban planning principles currently disallowed in our current obsolete Municipal Building Code, things like placing a building close to the street and mixing uses vertically in a single building. These new guidelines and code also include a Developer Design Review Process that will guarantee that the master developer will not wildly deviate from the Citizen/Torti Gallas Master Plan nor design inappropriate architecture for the Revitalization. It is understood that the plan will change but the big moves and larger framework should remain intact. Our logo is “Our City, Our Plan…Our Future.” So we’ll need to insure that our Master Plan remains our plan. Before the Design Guidelines and new Code can start protecting “our plan” it must be put in place by the City and its Council, we’re hoping this happens before the contract with the Developer is signed!

The Developer Design Review Process is recommended to be performed by the Temple Terrace Redevelopment Agency (TTRA) as judged by an outside professional consultant (OC), based upon The Code and The Plan. The Process would insure that any part of the project adheres to the design intent of the planner and the citizens as depicted in the Torti Gallas/Citizen master plan. The process consists of five stages: Conceptual Design Process, Preliminary Design Process, Final Design Process, Construction Document Check, and Construction Check. It is important that the OC be an outside professional consultant because the city could not afford to have the caliber of planner/architect on staff that we’ll need to judge the ongoing developer submissions. Also, having an outside consultant “outside” ensures that there will be less political pressure placed on them by the developer to slide submissions through the process. We must be diligent and steadfast to ensure that our Revitalization remains top-notch at every stage!

In early June the city’s Arts Education Center consultant Jonathan Toppe conducted a citizen input meeting for the proposed Center in the Revitalization area. Mr. Toppe has been hired to assess Temple Terrace’s civic center needs and the Largo Cultural Center, which Mr. Toppe designed, is the prototype for our own theater in size and function. The thirty citizens attending the input meeting suggested it include: a large multipurpose room, a half-dozen classrooms for visual arts, dance, music, and ceramics instruction, a gallery suitable for art exhibits and receptions, a flexible 400-seat theater, and a smaller theater for plays, movies, etc.. The proposed project requires 50,000 square feet and is a $12 million job at today’s costs. Hillsborough County has pledged $500,000 toward the Center, and the City has earmarked $2.5 million in community investment tax proceeds for the project. The city intends to hire a fundraising expert soon and would like to begin a formal fundraising campaign July 1.

While walking on the weekends for the Revitalization Referendum, we’ve been hearing that Temple Terrace is “not big enough/wealthy enough/smart enough/sophisticated enough” to have a downtown as envisioned in our citizen’s plan. Hogwash! This city has its conception in an audacious, innovative plan that created a world class Mediterranean Revival figure-eight golf course community surrounded by 5000 acres of citrus in the middle of what was then a longleaf pine forest on the banks of an ancient river. Our 1922 vision has held its value for eighty years and remains the saving grace of our city. Planning and building well and having Vision merely returns us to our roots.

Lastly, we’ve had some great articles come out recently on our Revitalization, Tampa Bay Metro Magazine did a great story which can be viewed on the City of Temple Terrace Revitalization website. Public Information Officer Paula MacDonald has done a fine job updating the City’s Revitalization website and it now contains a message from Mayor Affronti with an excellent Referendum Bond question and answer, the Robert Charles Lesser financial analysis report for the downtown Revitalization, and various articles of interest including one on the recent awards given to Temple Terrace by The Planning Commission for Planning and Citizen Participation on the Revitalization in 2005. You can e-mail in your own questions for the list to Check out our updated City website sometime!

Related posts:

  1. Latest News (February 13th, 2005)
  2. Latest News (July 19, 2005)
  3. News (June 17th, 2003)
  4. Latest News (September 3, 2005)
  5. Latest News (July 12th, 2003)
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2 Responses


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