TEMPLE TERRACE — Third time might be a charm for redevelopment in this city's downtown core.
The City Council recently approved a nearly 100-page development agreement with Vlass Group, giving the Georgia-based developer 29 acres as part of the deal. Residents will have a chance to give suggestions to the developer during a meeting Thursday.
The city will pay the roughly $20 million mortgage on the property and will retain the right to reacquire any undeveloped land if Vlass breaks the development contract. Vlass has three years to start construction on the first phase and 13 years to complete all three phases of the mixed-use project.
Vlass is the third developer to sign on to tackle redeveloping a set of strip malls bounded by Bullard Parkway, N 56th Street and the Hillsborough River to the south.
"At this point it is a done deal as far as we are concerned now," said city spokesman Mike Dunn. "It's an exciting time for us."
In addition to building retail shops, offices and residences, Vlass will make street, utility and infrastructure improvements, including creating a new "main street" through the north of the property to Chicago Drive to the south.
The project has three phases:
• Area A, which includes the former Kash n' Karry plaza, will have at least 375,000 square feet for commercial use and 350 residential units.
• Area B, which includes the North River Plaza, will have at least 100,000 square feet for commercial use and 100 residential units.
• Area C, the riverfront property, will include 100 residential units.
According to the agreement, Vlass has two years to submit site plans for phase one. The company has to start construction by June 2012, according to the agreement developers signed with the city last month.
Redeveloping the city's core started when the city designated about 225 acres for redevelopment in May 2001.
Grant Rimbey is president of the Citizens for the Revitalization of Temple Terrace, a grass roots group working to help with redevelopment efforts. Rimbey started the group in 2001.
"It's exciting after all these years, and especially in this ridiculous economy, to get something going," Rimbey said. "Something's going to happen."
Jared Leone can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 269-5314.