Oldsmar Council agrees to move forward with new downtown development plan

This conceptual design of downtown Oldsmar's latest development project, created by architect Francisco Semsch and developer John Bewes, was recently approved by the City Council. Credit: FSA, Inc./Bews Design Group.

This conceptual design of downtown Oldsmar’s latest development project, created by architect Francisco Semsch and developer John Bewes, was recently approved by the City Council. Credit: FSA, Inc./Bews Design Group.

The Oldsmar City Council agreed last week to move forward with the latest plan to build a mixed-used development in the downtown district.

The conceptual plan created by Tampa architect Francisco Semsch and Oldsmar developer John Bews was first presented to city officials during a workshop in January.

At the time, Bews and Semsch outlined the key components of the proposed development, which would be located next to City Hall on State Street and include elements of previous plans, such as a boutique hotel, park space, an office building, a restaurant and a parking, residential and retail structure.

Tampa architect Francisco Semsch explains his downtown development project to Oldsmar city officials on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

Tampa architect Francisco Semsch explains his and local developer John Bews’ downtown development conceptual plan to Oldsmar officials on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

“What we’re trying to do is to create a downtown transformation, to bring foot traffic to State Street,” Semsch said during the Jan. 11 workshop.

“The whole development will be very eye-catching.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the item came before the council for approval.

“I think it’s a good plan,” City Manager Bruce Haddock said, noting the development area includes all the property on the east side of City Hall, including the vacant land as well as the Goodrich buildings, which are scheduled to be demolished in the coming months.

“If the Council chooses to move forward with it this evening and approves the concept plan, then the next step would be to proceed with developing the actual site plan for the property.”

The item was passed unanimously with little comment since the details of the plan had been discussed at length during the workshop.

Conceptual artwork for Oldsmar's downtown development project created by Tampa architect Francisco Semsch and developer John Bews. Credit: FSA, Inc.

Conceptual artwork for Oldsmar’s downtown development project created by Tampa architect Francisco Semsch and developer John Bews. Credit: FSA, Inc.

After the meeting, Semsch talked about moving forward with the next step of the latest attempt to develop downtown Oldsmar.”

“Now we have a very special task—refine the site plan, define the parcels and bring that information to potential developers,” Semsch who also came up with the design for the city’s proposed Tampa Bay Rays stadium complex, said. “Then we will bring the presentation to people we are talking to so they understand the plan, the dimensions, et. cetera.”

When asked about a timeframe, Semsch said he and Bews, along with city officials, would begin working on the site plan immediately.

“We will submit our proposal to the city, and if it’s approved, we will spend 2-3 weeks on it, then we’ll review it and go from there,” he said.

“There are steps and timeframes to every project, and that’s how anything should be approached in order to get the right results.”

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