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Eriksson withdraws downtown Temple Terrace proposal

TEMPLE TERRACE — The company that planned to become the anchor of Downtown Temple Terrace has withdrawn its proposal to locate there.

In a letter to City Manager Charles Stephenson dated Wednesday, Roy Eriksson, president of Eriksson Technologies Inc., stated that "the risk associated with moving forward exceeds our comfort level.''

Eriksson was the first company to seek a spot in the redevelopment area since the city parted ways with its last developer in 2015.

Florida Hospital proposed putting an emergency department on the site, but quickly withdrew its proposal after mounting criticism of the idea.

Eriksson had offered $250,000 for the 1.5-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Bullard Parkway and 56th Street, where the company had planned to build a six-story office building as a focal point of the development, which stretches to the Hillsborough River.

But complaints from a number of residents and council members that the offer was too low left the company believing that it was being asked to take on too much of the risk, Eriksson said.

Both Frank Chillura and Andy Ross, who won seats on the city council Tuesday, had complained that the offer was too low.

Chillura said he was surprised by Eriksson's withdrawal.

The mayor said he had talked with Eriksson nearly two weeks ago and thought that he and the other members of the city negotiating team were going to meet and discuss the proposal.

"I looked forward to working with Mr. Eriksson,'' he said.

Ross said he, too, had looked forward to negotiating with Eriksson to come up with a deal beneficial to both.

"I think it's unfortunate that Mr. Eriksson withdrew his proposal,'' he said.

Eriksson said he had not closed the door on the idea of building in the Downtown Temple Terrace area; he just did not want to be first. He said once the development gets off the ground with other tenants, he may want to put a smaller building just for his firm on another parcel.

"It was and still remains my opinion that the only way we could have made this mixed-use project work was to construct it on the subject parcel with the full support of both the citizens and the government of the City of Temple Terrace,'' Eriksson wrote.

"Unfortunately, a vocal and influential element of this group has pushed back against us to the point where we are no longer confident of a successful outcome.''

Contact Philip Morgan at Follow him @pmorganTBT.

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