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Temple Terrace picks Paragon for redevelopment area

TEMPLE TERRACE — City Council members have put off building apartments on its downtown redevelopment property for the time being and have unanimously chosen a bank and retail stores on the corner of Bullard Parkway and 56th Street.

And at a meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 21), the council, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, plans to hear more from developers who want to build a five-story apartment building for seniors on limited incomes on the property south of Riverhills Drive.

For the north sector of the city's property, the council picked Paragon Property Development, which is offering $3.58 million for the corner 2.85 acres. The company plans to build a bank along Bullard Parkway and three other buildings along 56th Street — one that another financial institution may occupy, another with a 10,000-square-foot restaurant and a third that may house a medical facility and coffee shop.

In choosing Paragon, the council rejected an offer from Suncoast Retail Developers and a partner to buy the entire 12.26 acres in the north sector for $7.7 million and 263 apartments. It also planned to build a bank and two strip centers that would include space for a sit-down restaurant.

It also passed up a $4 million offer from The Richman Group, which wanted to put 200 apartments on nine acres; and a $3,450,000 offer from Wagner Property Group for 2.6 acres for a bank, coffee house and retail area.

Council member David Pogorilich questioned the wisdom of using most of the space in the sector north of Winn-Dixie before seeing if the Paragon project on the corner could attract even more retail stores.

The city's real estate agent, Patrick Berman of Cushman & Wakefield, warned that if the city sells more land for retail, there may not be enough room for 200 "class A'' apartment units companies need to build in order to be profitable. He added that the city might have to settle for something that pays half as much, such as townhouses.

On Tuesday, the council is scheduled to hear more from DDA Development, LLC, a company that is offering $1.4 million for 2.9 acres south of Riverhills Drive to build a 100-unit affordable housing apartment building for seniors.

Contact Philip Morgan at [email protected]

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