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Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018
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Developers raise offers for city-owned land

TEMPLE TERRACE — Two of the four developers under consideration to buy and build on city-owned land in the downtown redevelopment area have upped their offers by $1 million or more.

Suncoast Retail Developers, which wants to buy 12 acres and build a bank, strip shopping centers and at least 170 apartments, raised its offer from $6,350,000 to $7,700,000. And The Richman Group, which wants nine acres for 200 apartments, upped its bid from $3 million to $4 million.

"Actually, all of the four finalists increased their offers,'' said Patrick Berman of Cushman & Wakefield. The city's real estate broker is tasked with selling 22 acres of city-owned property along the east side of 56th Street from Bullard Parkway to the Hillsborough River.

City Council members meeting Tuesday as the Community Redevelopment Agency asked Berman to have the developers appear before the board to present their plans at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 1, in the Lightfoot Center, 10901 N. 56th St.

Council member Cheri Donohue asked if the developers could produce more detailed plans for what they want to build. Berman said detailed plans and renderings are expensive and developers usually don't submit such documents until they've reached a tentative agreement.

The two other developers are Paragon Property Group and Wagner Property Group. Paragon, which wants to buy 2.85 acres for a bank and two retail strip shopping centers, upped its offer from $3,325,000 to $3,575,000. Wagner, which wants 2.6 acres for a bank, coffee house and retail area, raised its bid from $3,050,000 to $3,450,000.

The council and incoming Mayor Mel Jurado are eager to sell the property because the city is faced with paying off or refinancing a $23.5 million loan by next April — the money the city borrowed last decade to buy the land.

Council member Frank Chillura said he wanted to make sure that the developers have the means to build what they propose.

Berman said all four prospects are reputable firms with proven records. "None are high risk propositions. They all can and will perform.''

Contact Philip Morgan at [email protected]

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