Historic status for 2 downtown Tampa facades removed by Mitch E. Perry


The Tampa City Council today approved a ‘compromise’ settlement between a downtown developer and the Iorio Administration that effectively rescinds a historic preservation label applied earlier this year to 2 historic buildings.

Specifically, the historic labeling had gone to the facades of the old Newberry and Woolworth buildings in downtown Tampa, right near the Kress building, which received landmark status earlier in the year.

But after that vote, the developers of a major downtown condominium project that would be affected by the historic designation - The Doran Jason Group – said they were going to drop their plans to go ahead with the project.

That led to them then agreeing to go thru mediation process with the City Administration, that ultimately led to a settlement , that was explained by City Attorney Julia Cole (roll tape#1 o.q. “undesignate�)

Attorney John Grandoff represents the developers, Doran Jason…He told the City Council that they should remember that his client is preserving the Kress Building, and tried to assure critics that the City will still very be part of the construction of the development (roll tape#2 o.q.�of this process�)

But Elizabeth Johnson, an attorney representting Tampa preservationists, blasted the compromise (roll tape#3 o.q.�Tampa�)

Johnson continued to bash everyone involved with the process, including Mayor Iorio, and City Attorney David Smith. The move comes after both the City Council AND the Architectural Review Commission had labeled the facades of the 2 buildings historic. And Johnson specifically mentioned the civil rights legacy of the Woolworth building roll tape#4 oq..� they faced�)

But Johnson’s arguments infuriated City Attorney Smith, who responded in kind(roll tape#5 o.q.�I think, offensive�)

The Council approved the settlement offered to them, with Linda Saul-Sena and John Dingfelder objecting (roll tape#6 o.q.�you said they’re important�)

Today’s vote is not the end of the process, with several public hearings still scheduled.

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