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Temple Terrace: City set to buy La Beacon Plaza

The property is crucial for the success of a mixed-use project at Bullard Parkway and N 56th Street, the project director says.

Published October 22, 2004

TEMPLE TERRACE - The City Council on Tuesday night tentatively agreed to pay member Frank Chillura and his family $1.25-million for La Beacon Plaza, a property long targeted as part of a major redevelopment project at the southeast corner of Bullard Parkway and N 56th Street.

Both sides were finalizing the details, council attorney Ted Taub said. But members - with Chillura abstaining - voted unanimously in favor of the basic terms.

In addition to the $1.25-million, the city would pay the Chilluras' lawyer fees of $125,000. It also would give the family another six months to close on the property, giving them time to relocate and take advantage of capital gains tax breaks for investing in a similar property, Chillura said.

Before reaching the tentative agreement, the Chilluras rejected at least two offers of $750,000 and $1-million. Chillura said the city didn't want to guarantee the family space in the redevelopment project or let them remodel the building. The city also tried but failed to find a similar parcel for them, he said.

"We basically just wanted to be made whole," Chillura said.

Project director Ralph Bosek told council members the property is crucial for the success of the proposed mixed-use development.

"I don't think this is an inexpensive deal," he said. "But we need to move on. We need to put an anchor tenant on the corner."

So far, the city has spent about $18-million purchasing various parcels at the 30-acre site. A final agreement with the Chilluras will leave 5 unpurchased properties.

For a couple of reasons, Chillura said the tentative agreement is a better deal for Temple Terrace than its recent $1.2-million purchase of the Chevron gas station-convenience store, also in the redevelopment site.

The city is getting a much bigger property for slightly more money, he said. And Chillura, whose family owns and manages real estate, said the city will earn income from the 12 to 15 tenants in La Beacon.

"We're actually acquiring a little more bang for the buck," council member Linda Shattles said before the vote.

[Last modified October 21, 2004, 13:21:19]

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