OLDSMAR, Fla. — Oldsmar is a unique city. About 15,000 people live there and 60,000 drive-through.
“We have the bay, we have 10 miles of trails,” said Eric Seidel, Mayor of Oldsmar.
It’s a place with an interesting history.
“Most people don’t know that we were founded by R.E. Olds who was the founder of the Oldsmobile Company,” said Seidel.
However, there’s something missing in this community.
“It’s the one thing we don’t have though, is a walkable downtown,” said Seidel.
That’s what city leaders are working on, again.
“We feel good about where we’re at. It’s exciting to see it come together. Oldsmar is doing a lot of exciting stuff,” said Seidel.
The area under redevelopment is along State Street and St. Petersburg Drive.
“Quite candidly this has been about the eighth time we’ve attempted to go and develop downtown,” said Seidel.
He says one of the reasons it’s taken so long is getting enough property to do it. The city now owns five acres near the library and seven acres near city hall.
“Currently under consideration, we have a proposal from Woodfield Development Group which incorporates over 300 high-end apartments and it has a wraparound of a parking garage, five story parking garage, but it also on the street level has 25,000 square feet of retail. It would include shops, would include restaurants,” said Seidel.
There are also plans for 100 townhomes.
“What’s known as ‘live here, work here’ units. So, on the lower level that face out, have the opportunity for small commercial, some cafe type style,” said Seidel.
He wants to create an active public park behind city hall as part of redevelopment plans.
“We also have in the budget an interactive essentially a water show, a Bellagio style water show that can be themed, that can be changed, but most importantly it’s family fun,” said Seidel.
Near the library, leaders say they envision a theater district for live entertainment.
Seidel hopes this area will be under construction in a year if residents and city council approve plans soon.
“It’s exciting and it’s been a real breath of fresh air for the community and it’s a sign of what we look like 10, 15 years from now,” said Seidel.