TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. — For years, people in Temple Terrace have been pushing for a true downtown center at the intersection of 56th Street and Busch Boulevard. Now, that dream is being realized after nearly two decades. There are now new places to show, eat, and luxury apartments to live in.
It's something Sybil and Bert Catala, who have lived in Temple Terrace for more than 50 years, have been fighting for. They love the area for many reasons.
"I like the beauty of the town," Sybil Catala said. "I like the people."
"I like the sense of small-town community," Bert Catala said.
They closely followed plans to redevelop the intersection and the potential retail areas within it for years.
"We had all kinds of community meetings on what you want down there," Sybil Catala said. "We really wanted a village."
"We found three developers that wanted to come in and invest in this community," said Greg Pauley, business relations manager for the City of Temple Terrace.
Pauley said one of the redevelopment projects will bring 200 luxury apartments to the area.
Just across the lot, a Tampa Bay developer said visitors will find a new Chase Bank. This is in addition to new places to eat, including a future Starbucks, a seafood restaurant and much more.
"I have a national sandwich shop," said Jared Moon, president of Paragon Property Development Group in Tampa. "I'm finalizing the lease with a kind of national massage spa concept. AT&T will obviously will be open here. They'll probably be the second one to open. I think they're about 60 days out. So it's it's lining up nicely.
But there are a few concerns from longtime residents like the Catalas.
"I think it's a positive, but I'm very concerned about the infrastructure and all the people who are going to move into that corner," Sybil Catala said.
However, Temple Terrace leaders said they are prepared and all construction plans have been vetted.
This includes traffic plans for the intersection of 56th St. and Busch Blvd. from the Florida Department of Transportation.
"A of those departments that take care of public safety touch those plans and provide comments to developers before anything is approved," Pauley said.
The site at 56th St. and Busch Blvd is not the only area to have new retail spaces available.
Pauley said the city is also helping develop another parcel just south of the intersection.
If you'd like to learn more about utilizing on of those new spaces, contact Pauley directly.