Plans for a new, state-of-the-art recreation complex took a big step forward Tuesday, as the City of Tampa closed on the purchase of the Penny Saver Food Market Property next to Fair Oaks Park on North 34th Street.
The 1.8-acre purchase will enable the redevelopment of Fair Oaks Park into a new, multi-generational complex that will include a senior center, recreation center, athletic field, and exercise trail. The city earlier this year had to cancel a purchase contract because the owners failed to meet the terms of a deal, but city leaders kept pressing forward with the effort to ensure the creation of a world-class complex in East Tampa.
"This is a big day for East Tampa - a huge WOW for our community. Acquiring this property not only removes a blight but helps us create a first-class, regional recreational complex," said City Council member Orlando Gudes. "This has taken a lot of hard work and persistence to pull off, and I am grateful to the East Tampa CRA's Community Advisory Community for contributing $1 million for this effort."
Demolition of the existing Penny Saver building is expected within the next 60 days followed by a groundbreaking ceremony soon after. Construction can't start soon enough, said Mayor Jane Castor.
"It has taken a lot of determination and hard work to get to this point, but it will pay off in the end. The new senior center and recreation complex will be an East Tampa jewel, and I can't wait to see our kids, Jazzy Seniors, and everybody else enjoys it," Mayor Castor said.
View Conceptual Plan of East Tampa Recreational Complex
Download Drone Footage of Penny Saver
(Courtesy: City of Tampa)