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Case Studies - Downtown Temple Terrace



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Downtown Temple Terrace


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Downtown Temple Terrace (DTT) is a 600,000 square foot mixed-use redevelopment of approximately 30 acres of income producing properties. DTT is located in the SE corner of the intersection of Bullard Parkway and 56th Street in the City of Temple Terrace, Hillsborough County, Florida.


Vlass Temple Terrace, LLC, a partnership between The Vlass Group, LLC, MJ Lant Developments, Inc. and MTS Advisors, Inc. (VTT) was chosen by The City of Temple Terrace (The City) in October 2008 to be the Master Developer of DTT. The land that comprises DTT was owned by The City, and was originally planned in the 1922 plat of The City to be it’s downtown core.  Suburban strip development in the 1950’s and 1960’s had reduced the site to several aging and underutilized retail centers and freestanding buildings. The City desired a high intensity, vertically integrated mixed-use development with an emphasis on retail, restaurants, and public spaces for the site.  VTT was chosen due to the principals collective experiences in this type of development thru their involvement in such projects as Winter Park Village, Uptown Altamonte, and Atlantic Station.


VTT created a Master Plan for the development that included approximately 250,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 40,000 square feet of civic space, and 550 residential units. Other highlights of the plan include the construction of a pedestrian friendly and lushly landscaped “Main Street” running north to south thru the property, as well as approximately 6 acres of parks and green space mixed throughout.


From the beginning DTT confronted several significant challenges. First was the economy from 2008 – 2011. Retailers during this period had been in a contraction instead of expansion mode, and when they did consider expansion downward pressure on rents made any type of new construction very difficult. The majority of the tenants located in the existing shopping centers at the time of acquisition were on month to month leases. Most were either undesirable uses for a high-end development, or were paying very cheap gross rents. The City had invested a substantial amount of money in originally acquiring the properties, as well as having hired various urban planners and “consultants”. These “consultants” had all convinced them that a high-end “new urban” style development would change their City and stop the encroaching blight. While The City has very desirable demographics, it is not very dense. The site is located in an extreme end of the City, and is adjacent to a much denser, much less desirable demographic area. Lastly, in addition to the desired “new urban” project and higher end uses, The City also required a very rigid architectural style that mirrors it’s Mediterranean Revival history.


A Master Developer’s Agreement was executed on June 30, 2009, and the Master Developer acquired the properties on July 1, 2009.


The first challenge was the negotiation of leases with Sweetbay Supermarkets and the US Post Office to anchor the Phase I retail portion. Groundbreaking was held on the retail portion of DTT on July 2nd, 2010. Additional Phases including a 17,000 square foot Performing Arts Center and 214 luxury rental apartments are currently underway.


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Case Studies

Project Leasing • Development • Site Selection

Downtown Temple Terrace



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