TEMPLE TERRACE — Temple Terrace’s secret is out.
The city is featured on a list of best places to live by CNNMoney, a service of the CNN cable network and Money and Fortune magazines. It placed sixth on a top ten list of small cities with affordable home prices.
The online news service touted Temple Terrace as an elegant, unique-looking city with winding streets covered with a canopy of oaks. It has an abundance of trees, Mediterranean style homes built in the 1920s and newer ranch-style properties.
Temple Terrace boasts a healthy housing market, where the median home price is $75,000 and the median family income is $56,963, according to CNNMoney. It is one of 25 growing cities where residents see their incomes go the furthest.
That comes as no surprise to Mayor Frank Chillura, a lifelong resident.
“That’s why a lot of people choose to live here,” the mayor said. “We hear people say, ‘Temple Terrace is the best kept secret.’ But we don’t want to keep it secret.”
More people, including captains of industry, are becoming familiar with the Northern Hillsborough County city adjacent to Tampa. Banking investment giant Morgan Stanley moved its Florida headquarters to Temple Terrace early this year.
Built on the banks of the Hillsborough River as a vacation spot for nature-loving Northerners nearly 100 years ago, Temple Terrace became a city in 1925. It now is home to 25,000 residents.
The national publicity could not have come at a better time, said Barbara Sparks-McGlinchy, executive director of the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce.
The city is encouraging new families to move to town, she said.
“We want their children to attend our schools,” Sparks-McGlinchy said. “We want them to bring in new businesses and to shop at our current businesses.”
Prudential Tropical Realty real estate agent Annette Renny, who has been selling homes in Temple Terrace for 26 years, said buyers are attracted to the city’s small-town charm.
The Fourth of July parade, fireworks celebration, and the fall arts festival draw huge crowds each year, she said. And, the city’s proximity to the University of South Florida, several major hospitals and two interstates makes it an ideal destination.