TEMPLE TERRACE — Progress is underway on the city’s long-awaited redevelopment project.
Last week, city officials gathered to celebrate groundbreaking for the construction of Waverly Terrace, 200 luxury apartments in two four-story buildings by the Richmond Group — the developer of downtown Tampa’s Aurora apartment complex. Waverly Terrace is the first project to break ground in the city’s redevelopment area.
The groundbreaking is taking place on the most recent parcel of land to be sold in the Community Redevelopment Area, said Laurie Hayes, Marketing and Communications Officer of the City of Temple Terrace. Sale price for the parcel was $3 million.
Hayes said the city still has available parcels of land for sale. The city borrowed $24 million in the early 2000s to buy 29 acres of land to construct a downtown through a master developer.
In an email, City Manager Charles Stephenson wrote that working with individual developers has been beneficial to helping the project move forward.
“While the previous plan was more focused on dealing with a master developer, it has proven more prudent to market the available properties to individual developers,” Stephenson wrote. “The City, however, is working with Paragon, Enigma and Richman to ensure that the properties mesh to create a cohesive look and include complimentary retail, restaurant and business offerings for our residents and visitors.”
Construction on the apartments is expected to be finished by next summer.
“One of the things Richmond Group looks for is good dining, shopping and walkability features,” said Kristen Fuechslin, the company’s executive vice president of marketing. “It really makes us excited to be a part of that local community and the experience we offer to all of our residents.”
Fuechslin said the apartments include features that tested well with millennial and Gen X focus groups: chef style kitchens, kitchen islands, elevated ceilings, private balconies, yoga and spin classes on demand in the gym, private cabanas near the pool.
“Cooking and socialization are important to them,” she said
So far, three parcels in the redevelopment area have been purchased.
Paragon Property Group owns the parcel at the southeast corner of 56th Street and Busch Boulevard, which is expected to turn into a 21,000 square foot retail, restaurant, office and banking space, including a Starbucks and Chase Bank. Hayes said the city expects to break ground on the project in the near future.
Enigma Plaza in Temple Terrace will turn the structure at 8633 N 56th Street into a 34,000 square foot boutique retail and dining space.
Hayes said other projects include repurposing the old K-Mart at 5400 E Busch Blvd into an indoor marketplace for vendors to sell their products and redeveloping the former Lupton’s BBQ Restaurant on Busch Boulevard into an O’Reilly Auto Parts store.
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Hayes said she hopes this is the start of growth the Temple Terrace community has long wanted to see.
“The groundbreaking was a very big deal for us,” she said. “We’re hoping this will be a start of something big for the redevelopment area, not only for the residents but for people outside of our borders to come and see what Temple Terrace has to offer.”