Friday, December 29, 2006

MLS Statistics for November 2006

This data provides the total home sales for November 2006, as provided by the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, and these numbers do not include the total sales of new homes sold in the month of November.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Shops at Wiregrass

The Shops at Wiregrass located at SR 56 and Bruce B. Downs and located on some 67 acres is moving forward. The 750,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space will also feature open air cafes. For a "virtual tour" of this planned mall click the artist concept below:

Saturday, December 23, 2006

15 Minutes of Fame for You and Your Home!

HGTV is coming to Tampa and is looking for a few good homes / homeowners for the filming of the show: What You Get for the Money. Looking for homes from $150,000 to $1 million in value, HGTV's website indicates they are looking for the "snappiest, most appealing, charming and/or hip homes", and that they are looking for:
  1. Unique, magazine-ready architecture or design elements
  2. Eye-popping details inside and out
  3. Engaging homeowners excited about sharing their city and their home with the rest of America.

Since they are planning on coming to Tampa in January, hurry and contact:

Mindy Christiansen at (303) 712-3148 or e-mail her at!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


As an update to my November 13th post about Transeastern Homebuilder's Owners' woes, parent company Technical Olympic USA is now fighting law suits regarding the acquisition of Transeastern homes. One suit alleges TOUSA violated the Securities and Exchange Act of 1935. The press release on TOUSA's website denies this. With a loss of over $143 million in the first nine months of 2006, the joint venture has been strongly criticized by stockholders.

Transeastern is known in New Tampa for its homes in Live Oak, and the Hammocks; and also for homes in the Tampa Golf & Country Club in San Antonio off of S.R. 52.

Wiregrass Ranch High School to Open January 9, 2007

The new high school in Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch High School is scheduled to open for the first time in January. Located at 2909 Mansfield Boulevard, access to the new high school for now is through Meadow Pointe. Once the extension of S.R. 56 occurs, it will have access from the extension. More information on Wiregrass Ranch High School can be found on the school's website.

When I stopped by this week to snap these pictures, landscapers were busy laying sod.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Population Projections for Central Florida

While this post is not specific to New Tampa, I believe it will show that we are in a prime area for home appreciation based on the anticipated growth for Central Florida:

The group 1,000 Friends of Florida contracted with the University of Florida's GeoPlan Center for population projections for the State of Florida in the year 2060. Additional detailed information provided in this study can be obtained from their website.
Some interesting projections for Central Florida (Brevard, Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter, Volusia):
2005 Population for Central Florida: 6,595,259. 2060 Est. Population: 15,478,239 Increase: 8,883,980
Several counties are expected to "build out" between 2020 and 2040, including Hillsborough & Pinellas!
Least change of all central Florida counties will be Pinellas because "more than 70 percent is already in urban use, the highest of any county in the state".
The Central Florida region is expected to have the "largest percentage of urban land use of any region in the state by 2060"! (51%)

Moffitt Deal at Wiregrass Dead in the Water?

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute was offered more than $20 million in incentives to build at the Wiregrass Ranch on as much as 100 acres by Pasco County. Moffitt says it isn't enough. Pasco representatives have commented that they feel they were just being used by Moffitt for Moffitt to get a better deal from Hillsborough County for their expansion.
There are a few hospitals looking to expand in the same area in addition to Moffitt. None received the CON (Certificate of Need) from the State in their first applications.
We'll see how this plays out.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Rezoning for New Tampa Condominium Project Delayed

The controversial planned condominium project in New Tampa, just north of Bearss and off of Bruce B. Downs has been rescheduled from December 14th to January 10th. Residents of nearby Lake Forest and others have been opposed to the development of this 644 acre tract due to fears of traffic congestion on Bruce B. Downs. About 1,500 condominiums are proposed in this development and they are to be "high-rise" type buildings with elevated parking.

Another Development Approved in Pasco County

The Grantham Ranch development of 611 acres off of Old Pasco Road was approved by County commissioners. This 470+ home subdivison was opposed by residents of Quail Hollow and Saddlewood Estates in Wesley Chapel.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Hamptons at Tampa Palms Condo Auction Results

Bay Communities' planned auction of some 100 units at its condo conversion in Tampa Palms was cut short when the 40 units that were to be auctioned with no reserve, brought much lower than list price.

One bedroom units sold for $70,000 and three bedroom units for around $140,000. Three bedroom units with two car garages had a "list price" of around $300,000. These "upscale" condos have been known to be among the priciest in the area. Additionally, the complex has been plagued with liens--property tax, Home Owners Association, etc.
One condo owner who purchased before the auction is said to have amounted $10,000. in legal fees.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pick your own Strawberries!

Interested in picking your own hydroponic strawberries? The closest location to New Tampa is Bane's Hydroponic Farm, in Dade City. You can pick from 20 strawberry plants without moving. Their website is: and they are open from Tuesday through Saturday from 9 4:00 p.m.
Another hydroponic strawberry farm in Hillsborough County is Parke's. Their website is: , and are also open from Tuesday through Saturday.

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Subdivision announced in New Tampa

Three builders plan to build a combined total of 300 homes on the former K-Bar Ranch in New Tampa. Mobley Homes, M/I Homes, and Taylor Woodrow Homes each will have 100 lots. Prices will range from the mid $300's to $600,000. Mobley Homes is also seeking approval for an additional 900 homes and town center on the former ranch, but it wants to connect to Mansfield in Meadow Pointe, in Pasco County. Planners for Pasco Co. have opposed connecting to Mansfield due to the additional traffic that it will created and have proposed instead that Mobley connect to Meadow Pointe Boulevard which was designed for heavier traffic.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seven Oaks--Wesley Chapel's Platinum Community

This impressive community in Wesley Chapel / New Tampa has it all. Conveniently located for access to I-75 and I-275, Seven Oaks will have easy access to two planned malls: The Cypress Creek Town Center and The Shops at Wiregrass which will have a combined retail space in excess of 2 million square feet. The main entrance is flanked with two beautiful fountains and Seven Oaks offers amenities for all!

$4.5 million SportsCore and Club:
Coffee shop and Juice bar
Fitness Center
Great room for gathering/entertainment
Activity rooms for children
Theatre for viewing movies
Locker room with showers
Spectacular free form resort pool
Jr. Olympic lap pool with waterslide
Children's water park
Tennis Courts
Sand Volleyball
Softball and Soccer fields

Seven Oaks Elementary
Dr. John Long Middle School (New & located in nearby Wiregrass/Meadow Pointe)
Wiregrass High School (Also located in Wiregrass/Meadow Pointe with a scheduled Jan. 2007 opening)

This lushly landscaped resort type community in Wesley Chapel is impressive! I have never had a prospective buyer who wasn't truly impressed with all that it has to offer.

Is Lennar Playing Hardball with Pasco County?

The Lennar Corporation recently withdrew its plans from the county's review process for a 3,600 home community on Curley Road, in Wesley Chapel. Ken Wagner, president of Lennar's Tampa Land Division is blaming excessive costs: "costs are escalating so high that it makes the project not viable". Apparently Lennar wants to renegotiate its county mandated commitments on the project. I will keep you informed whether this becomes a: DEAL or NO DEAL!

Proposed Hikes in Impact Fees on New Construction In Pasco County

Pasco county has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and the number of planned communities is growing daily. Wesley Chapel, in Pasco County is growing faster than kudzu! The residential growth and planned commercial growth including a 1.3 million square foot mall (Cypress Creek), the Wiregrass Shops, and the planned residential community of Wiregrass are all on the books in addition to several other malls within a short range of one another.

A Pasco County consultant has proposed raising the transportation impact fees on newly constructed single family homes from $3,928 to some $13,000. Some new commercial buildings have a proposed increase that will more than double the current transportation impact fee of $30,208.

Pasco County has formed a Task Force composed of residential developers, builders, and others to analyze the proposed fees. A public hearing is scheduled to hear the Task Force's recommendations on January 9, 2007. More information on the meeting time can be found at
Additional information about the growth in Wesley Chapel, Florida can be found at

Spending Cap in the Future for Hillsborough County?

Hillsborough County commissioners are considering a variety of options to address property taxes in the future:

Brian Blair: Reserving money that isn't spent in the budget for millage reduction.

Jim Norman: Tie annual county budget increases to a federal inflation index AND population changes +/-.

Commissioners would have an "out" on this cap with a 5 vote majority to exceed the cap. Taxes levied for county libraries and for the purchases of environmentally sensitive land would be excluded from the cap under Norman's proposal.
Of course, the Property Tax Reform Committee, is also looking at addressing the property tax issues state wide.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

New Town Houses Planned for New Tampa

159 Town Homes will be built in Arbor Greene, located in New Tampa. The three story, 3-4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom town houses will also have two car garages and range between 2,427 and 2,549 square feet. The projected pricing on these town homes is in the high $200's. Models are scheduled to be open in the Spring of 2007.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wiregrass Ranch Endorsed for Approval

The 5,100 acre Wesley Chapel / New Tampa development, with proposed 13,500 homes and over 30,000 residents nears approval after five attempts! Once approved by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning council, the Pasco County commissioners will vote on the proposal on December 19, 2006. With an attractive estimated property taxes of $243 million to be paid by 2016, I would think it likely that the commissioners will approve the plan.

Included in the plan are 8,500 single family homes, 5,000 multifamily homes and a whopping 3.2 million square feet of retail space including the Shops at Wiregrass. Now with an estimated opening of Spring of 2008, construction is likely to begin on the mall in Spring of 2007. Also included in the plan is 2 million square feet of office space.

The most recent stumbling block for this development was the county's requirement that the developers address affordable housing in its plan. Previously, the developers offered the county only $200,000. towards future subsidies. This was laughed at by the county. The revised plan provides for $2.9 million to be set aside for affordable housing, to be doled out by the county.

The extension of S.R. 56 is still under review, however the extension of Chancey Road has begun.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Market Square at Bruce B. Downs and I-75 Announces its next Phase

Market Square, where the new BJ's Wholesale Club is located, announced that construction is slated for 2007 for 5 new tenants--Staples, PetSmart, Bed,Bath&Beyond, Ross--Dress for Less, and arts and crafts store A.C. Moore.

There still was no announcement about a possible bookstore that was rumored to be considering this location.

Average Prices of Homes Sold in Tampa in September 2006

The following is the average sales prices of homes sold by area in Tampa in September, 2006 excluding private home sales and new construction:

Brandon: $270,000.
Carrollwood: $377,816.
Central Tpa: $159,000.
Lutz/NW: $419,000.
New Tampa: $380,000.
Pasco (Includes Wesley Chapel): $250,000.
S. Tampa: $473,000.
T. Terrace: $206,000.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Million Dollar Homes For Sale in New Tampa

I ran a search for homes on the market in MLS in New Tampa with an asking price of $1,000,000.00 or more:

There are 32 available! It is not surprising that 17 of them are in Tampa Palms.

The most expensive home that came up is listed for $5,900,000.00. It has 13,300 square feet of living space, 7 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, located on a golf course with a 3 car garage, and pool. Located on between 1-2 acres, this home was built in 1995. The photos are, as you can imagine "BREATHTAKING"! Property taxes for 2004 were $72,494.00.

So, just in case you hit the lotto this weekend or can't think of somethiing to buy the wife for the Holidays, I thought you might want to keep this in mind.

On the flip side, the least expensive home listed has an asking price of $189,900 with 1185 square feet. I only found two below $200,000.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Office Depot

OFFICE DEPOT, is now open in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel! Located in the same building as the new Bonefish Grill on Bruce B. Downs at S.R. #56. Prior to this, we all had to go to the Staples store at the University Mall.

With all the growth in Wesley Chapel, it is hard to keep up with all the recent openings!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tampa Home Prices

The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors published the following data on home sales for September 2006. Note: These are the AVERAGE sales prices and do not include private sales or new construction:

New Tampa: $379,933.00
Pasco (Includes Wesley Chapel): $249,611.00
Brandon: $269,559.00
Carrollwood: $377,816.00
Temple Terrace: $205,844.00
Lutz/North West: $418,501.00
North Central: $174,716.00

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

S.R. 54 to be widened

S.R. #54 in Pasco County will be widened from four lanes to six lanes. The three mile section from just east of U.S. 41 to the Cypress Creek Bridge is expected to begin next fall.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bank calls back loan to Homebuilder Transeastern

The Deutsche Bank Trust Company America, is asking Technical Olympic USA (TOUSA), owner of Transeastern as part of a joint venture to repay money it borrowed last year to buy Transeastern.

The Tampa Tribune further reports that it is reported that Transeastern has stopped offering lots in its Live Oak development in New Tampa. Transeastern's other developments in the area include the Hammocks in New Tampa, and Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club in San Antonio, (Pasco County).

The Tribune further reports that Transeastern laid off 130 workers in September.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pasco Town Center

Preliminary approval for the Pasco Town Center--a 2 million square ft. retail development, 640 room hotel, and office and industrial space planned to be built at I-75 & State Road 52 was recently granted. Located on over 940 acres of land off of McKendree Road, the project also includes almost 2,000 multifamily homes.

Much less in the public view than the other three planned malls, all within a ten mile radius of one another, this mall touts itself as a future "gateway" to the county. The Cypress Creek Town Center (I-75 & State Road 56), The Shops at Wiregrass (Bruce B. Downs & State Road 56), and the Grove at Wesley Chapel (County Road 54 & I-75) are the other planned malls on the books.

These four malls will be competing for business from the fast growing Wesley Chapel area in Pasco County as well as business from residents from New Tampa.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tampa Homes For Sale

I ran a search on single family homes listed for sale through the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors MLS today.

Total Homes Listed For Sale in Tampa: 4765

Tampa Homes Listed from $0. to $200,000: 1156

Tampa Homes Listed from $200,001 to $400,000: 2196

Tampa Homes Listed from $400,001. to $600,000: 699

Homes For Sale in New Tampa by Community including Wesley Chapel:

Arbor Greene: 64

Tampa Palms: 91

Hunter's Green: 118

West Meadows: 57

Meadow Pointe: 153*

Lexington Oaks: 77*

Seven Oaks: 86*

*Wesley Chapel homes not included in Tampa figures

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

5th Anniversary Holiday Celebration at Florida Estates Winery

The Florida Estates Winery, 25241 State Road 52 in LOL will be having its Fifth Anniversary Holiday Celebration on December 15, 2006 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wine tasting & hors d'ouevres, etc. $8.00. For more information visit their website at

New Tampa Condo Conversion

A one year old +/- complex is currently in its grand opening as a condo conversion. Prices range from $162,900 to the $200's. This conversion is offering for a limited time two interesting concepts to potential buyers:
1. "Live Free One Year" (100% of 1 year's rent payments applied towards ownership*

2. "Investor Breakeven"*

For more information on this condominium conversion or others, contact:
Russ Perlowski
Exit KG Realty
(813) 494-2124

*Subject to change without notice by owner/developer. Certain conditions apply.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tampa Palms Condos

The owners of The Hamptons at Tampa Palms have decided to take a different route to sell some of the units in the complex. With only about 70 units of the 315 sold through this summer as reported in the Tampa Tribune, and a year on the market, Bay Communities has decided to sell 100 units via an auction! The Tampa Tribune further reports that the owner/developer still owes the county $1 million in back taxes! Carl Carter, a spokesperson for J P King Auctioneers is quoted in the Tribune that: "Our intention is to sell these units with a clear title."

The auction will be held on December 9th at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Market in the Park & Taste of Lutz, Saturday, November 11

Presented by the Lutz Civic Association, Market in the Park will be from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will feature a Farmer's Market, Holiday gifts and decor, Flea market items, Antiques, and Arts & Crafts.

Taste of Lutz will be from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with tasty food samples from area restaurants at a charge.

Located at Bullard Park (Lutz Lake Fern Road & US 41) near the Lutz Train Depot. For more information call: 949-7481.

First Watch now open in New Tampa

Located in the Shoppes at New Tampa, (Bruce B. Downs at S.R. 56) First Watch The Daytime Cafe offers breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They are open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and also have a take out menu. For more information call 929-3947.

New Strip Mall planned at County Line Road & Bruce B. Downs

A new plaza in front of the Super Target is planned to break ground for its 17,000 square feet. Tenants are reported to include a dry cleaner, a carpet store, and Verizon Wireless.

Update on New Tampa East West Connector to I-275

Preliminary information from the two bids for the connector toll road from Bruce B. Downs to I-275 indicate that one bidder is requesting almost $1 billion in assistance and the other is proposing a toll that would rise to $2.75 within five years of its opening. Considering that the proposed road will only be a tad longer than 3 miles, I wonder how many New Tampa homeowners will be willing to pay that amount.

The winner of the bid will be announced in 2007 and it is reported that it will take two years to build.

Monday, October 30, 2006

New School Approved

The County approved plans to purchase property for a new elementary school. The site is located on C.R. 54 in front of the Westbrook Estates neighborhood, and across the street from Lexington Oaks. The over 12 acre tract came at a price of $5.6 million. The school will not open until 2008 and will relieve overcrowding in Seven Oaks, & Quail Hollow.

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Tampa East West Connector Road

Two bids have been submitted for the State's first private toll road, connecting New Tampa to I-275. Bids for the 3.1 mile road, which is 20 years in the making, were submitted to The Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority. This comes at a time when the Authority is under investigation for controversial actions taken regarding legal counsel and the authority's paid lobbyist. Authority director Mervine was quoted as saying that the road could be open in 2009 and that it would shave 12 minutes off the commute to downtown Tampa from New Tampa.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Extension of SR 56 in Wesley Chapel Delayed Again!

The extension of SR 56 in Wesley Chapel into the planned Wiregrass community has once again be delayed. The start of construction on the 3.5 extension from Bruce B. Downs in New Tampa to Meadow Pointe Boulevard is now scheduled for Spring 2007. The four lane road is designed for 70 mph.

This is just one of the many delays that Wiregrass has experienced in the planned new home community of Wiregrass with some 12,000 homes planned. Additionally, the Wiregrass shopping mall has also been delayed. The new opening is now planned for Spring of 2008.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Halloween Fun / Pumpkin Festival

The 15th annual Pumpkin Festival will be held at Hunsader Farms on October 20, 21, 22, and October 28, and 29, 2006. With over 150 planned Craft Booths, they will be offering Hayrides, a barnyard playground, Pumpkin games, a petting zoo, COLOSSAL CORN MAZE, and much more. According to their website, admission is $6.00, Children 12 and under free, and Parking is $3.00. Their website is:

Additionally, don't forget Flatwoods Adventures, that will be offering moonlight festivals! They are located off of S.R. 54.

Lastly here is a Halloween Card!

Aerial photo of maze at Pumpkin Festival!

New Tampa Arts and Crafts Show

The 16th annual Tampa Palms Women's Club Arts & Crafts show will be held "under the palms" at City Plaza Shopping Center (Bruce B. Downs and Tampa Palms Blvd.) on October 21st and 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bonefish Grill to open in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel

Bonefish Grill, originally founded in 2000 in St. Pete, and now with over 100 locations is slated to open in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel, Florida on October 16th. The 5,200 square foot restaurant, seats 190 and is located in The Shoppes at New Tampa, recently constructed on Bruce B. Downs, close to the intersection of S.R. 56.

Wiregrass Ranch Community in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel hits another snag!

Jeesh! The Wiregrass Ranch development in Wesley Chapel has had so much controversy, it is a bit hard to believe that there is now something new to add!

Previously, there was controversy because the Pasco School District was expecting them to extend S.R. 56 for access to the the new Middle School and Wiregrass High School. Apparently they had a "Mexican standoff", because abruptly the school district decided to temporarily route the bus line through Meadow Pointe. The Middle school is now open, and Wiregrass High is expected to open in January. The extension of S.R. 56 is not yet in place.

Also, for months the County has been saying that they require a traffic study of the proposed Wiregrass community; and to my knowledge up to this point still have not received it.

About two months ago, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council told the developers of Wiregrass that they needed to increase affordable housing to offset the high volume of high end homes it plans to build there.

Now, in response apparently, Wiregrass has offered the County $250,000. to "meet its obligations" for affordable housing in a planned community slated to have 12,000 homes!

Under the county's new comprehensive growth plan, developers are required to set aside homes for affordable housing, but it appears that the number/quantity required to satisfy that remains unclear. Surely more than one house in 12,000 though!

The Laker reported that Pasco County officials laughed at the $250,000 proposal by Wiregrass developers! A representative from Pasco Co.'s long range planning division was quoted as saying that $5 million would be closer to their expectations. Perhaps Wiregrass should send a representative to Howie Mandel's show DEAL OR NO DEAL!

Tune in for the continuing saga of the Wiregrass Ranch community.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tampa Neighborhood Home Prices for August 2006

The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors has published the following average sales prices by neighborhood for homes in MLS that sold in August, 2006:

Brandon: $272,240.
Carrollwood: $347,137.
Lutz / Northwest: $469,913.
Pasco: $265,863.
New Tampa: $418,969.

The Average days on the market reported by GTAR for all homes sold in MLS was 61.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Rattlesnake Festival

Looking for something different to do? The 40th Annual San Antonio, Florida Rattlesnake Festival will be held on October 21, & 22. Sat. Hours: 9:00 - 4:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00-4:00 p.m. Parking is free and there is no admission charge. Free entertainment will be provided and there will be a Wild West Show and food for sale. For more information, visit their website at: or give them a call at (352) 588-4444.

Monday, October 02, 2006

New Tampa Arts Festival

The first New Tampa Arts Festival is scheduled for this fall at the Palm Lake Office Building, under the oaks at 15310 Amberly Drive on November 18, & 19. This new festival will be displaying and selling works of up to 100 artists. So, mark your calendars and remember to take your check books with you!

S. Pasco / Wesley Chapel County Road Widenings

The widening of County Line Road from Bruce B. Downs to the Trout Creek bridge is now planned to begin in April of 2007. The Trout Creek bridge is between the communities of Northwood and The Lakes. Included in this planned widening is an additional left turn lane from County Line Road to North on Bruce B. Downs.

The $38 million widening of Bruce B. Downs from County Line Road to S.R. 54 is now under review by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Once completed these road widenings for those of us living in South Pasco will have easier access to I-75 at S.R. 56.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Three NEW Area Malls Update

The Cypress Creek Town Center shown to the left, a planned 1.3 million square ft. Regional Mall continues to plod forward.
The location of the planned mall is at I-75 & S.R. 56 in Wesley Chapel. Next step is a September 26th appointment with the board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. (Swiftmud).

The proposed Shops at Wiregrass mall located at Bruce B. Downs and S.R. 56, is just a few miles east of the Cypress Creek Town Center. After the construction of JC Penney, the mall has been slow to get approvals for the proposed construction of the rest of the mall. Total square footage for this mall is reported to be 800,000.

Lastly, the planned mall at C.R. 54 & I-75, also in Wesley Chapel, has a planned 800,000 square feet. Demolition of some previous structures at the location has begun.

All three malls will look to attracting customers from the prestigious community of New Tampa. I believe at one point all three proposed malls had planned opening dates of 2007. In my opinion that is unlikely.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Real Estate Humor

With property tax bills coming out shortly, I thought it appropriate to provide the following link for a show containing some REAL ESTATE HUMOR! (Click on the red link to the left.)

To forward this as a link to your friends, click on the white arrow below:

Enjoy! Compliments of Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty,

Friday, September 08, 2006

July Tampa Home Prices

The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors released the following AVERAGE home sales by neighborhood for homes sold in July, 2006:

New Tampa: $421,810.
Pasco County: $364,393.
Lutz: $455,654.
Carrollwood: $338,754.

Average Days on the Market for these neighborhoods ranged from 57-65.
Thinking about Selling or Buying a home? Contact Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty, (813) 494-2124.

New Tampa Skate Park at Tampa Palms

The New Tampa Community Park, located off of Commerce Park Boulevard in Tampa Palms will include a skateboard facility. Plans are to complete the skate park over the next year and it will also include BMX bike riding.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I-75 & Bruce B Downs Flyover Ramp In New Tampa

Construction on the Southbound FLYOVER ramp over Bruce B. Downs & Interstate 75 should begin in 2007. Recently, bids were received from $39 million to $47.5 million. When originally approved, the project had an estimated cost of only $29 million.

This flyover ramp will allow commuters traveling southbound on Bruce B. Downs to access I-75 Southbound without stopping at a light. This should make access much easier for New Tampa home owners.

Construction is estimated to take two years.

Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty (813) 494-2124

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Tampa Sports Complex at Live Oak

The New Tampa Sports Complex, under construction at Live Oak is a joint project of Hillsborough County schools and the parks department. The complex will have four ball fields, a football field, track and other facilities. In a recent meeting it was announced that the ball fields were scheduled to be completed for Spring of 2007, but a representative from the New Tampa Little League asked if the fields could be ready in February. The county parks department indicated that they would try to open the fields sooner than planned.

Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty, (813) 494-2124

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Advance Voting for September 5, 2006 Election

Advance voting for the September 5, 2006 Election runs from August 21 to September 2.

Here are several locations in the New Tampa area that will be open:

Hillsborough County: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Lutz Branch Library, 101 W. Lutz-Lake Fern Road
New Tampa Regional Library, 10001 Cross Creek Blvd.

Pasco County: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. M-F; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday

Land O Lakes Professional Center, 4111 Land O lakes Blvd., Suite 105
Wesley Chapel Office, 5325 Village Market

Check with your Supervisor of Elections office for other locations.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tampa Real Estate Blog

Interested in knowing more about the Tampa Real Estate Market? New homes? Resales?

Give me a call:

Russ Perlowski , Exit KG Realty

Technorati Profile

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bruce B. Downs Road Widening

The Hillsborough County widening of Bruce B. Downs in New Tampa to 8 lanes, is scheduled for construction in 2008. Phase I will be from Palm Springs Boulevard (Tampa Palms) to Pebble Creek Drive.

In part, due to area bicyclists concerns, a 3 foot shoulder has been added. Of course, with the current price of gas we may all be riding bicycles on Bruce B. Downs by 2008!

Russ Perlowski Exit KG Realty (813) 494-2124

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Schools in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel

The newest Middle School, located in Wiregrass Ranch at Meadow Pointe is scheduled to open this week. The second photo is of the Wiregrass High School also located in the same location with a scheduled opening of Jan. 2007

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tampa Neighborhood Home Sales Values for June 2006

The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, recently posted the following information on the June AVERAGE sales prices for homes by neighborhood:

  • New Tampa: $454,801.
  • S.Tampa/Davis Islands: $643,167.
  • Pasco (Including Wesley Chapel) $258,624.
  • Town & Country $266,023.
  • Carrollwood $342,725.
  • Lutz/North West $470,314.
  • Temple Terrace $234,006.
  • Brandon $291,961.

This data is provided for informational purposes only and should be verified prior to entering into a contract.

Russ Perlowski: Exit KG Realty.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New Tampa Homes Photo tours

Interested in seeing some photos of new homes currently on the market? I have created two links:

While visiting the local builders to take the photos for the following virtual tours, these two local residents stopped by to greet me! I might say that they were a very friendly couple and very accomodating with posing for my camera!


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hillsborough County Raises Impact Fees

The long anticipated increase in impact fees on new home construction was approved by Hillsborough County commissioners. After 20 years of no increase, the impact fees will be increased from the ridiculously low figure of $196 for a 3 bedroom home.

The new impact fees for schools wil increase to $2,000. on a home between 2,000 and 2,499 effective November 1, and will double to $4,000. on August 1, 2007. After full implementation, the fee is expected to raise $43 million per year.

In contract, the Tampa Tribune quotes Keven Robles of McCar Homes, who stated that: "his company pays $12,000. in impact fees for every home it builds in Pasco County. Of that, $4,300 goes toward new school construction,......up from $1,900 last year.

Of course, we all anticipate that these fees will be passed on by the builders to the future new home buyers.

Pasco Property Tax Cut Update

Yesterday, Pasco County commissioners voted to trim some $6 million from the proposed $1.1 billion budget. If they achieve this reduction, this will mean even lower property taxes than previously proposed and posted on this blog.

The current rate is $6.68 per $1,000. of valuation and the latest proposed reduction will lower that rate to $5.99. The budget will be approved in September, so we will have to wait until then to know the final figure.

Russ Perlowski Exit KG Realty

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hillsborough County Property Tax Rate Proposal

Hillsborough County's estimated budget for this coming year is a record $4 billion. With some $30 million in additional revenue from higher property assessments and new construction, proposals to cut the property tax rate fell on deaf ears with county commissioners.

Commissioner Blair proposed a 1 mill cut (equaling a $100.00 reduction per $100,000 of assessed home value.). Blair's plea included the comment: "It's the people's money"! Blair then proposed a half mill cut stating: "That's the rock bottom I can sleep with tonight".

Clearly no other commissioner was concerned about sleeping well that evening as no second to his motion was made. Previously commissioners agreed to cut the rate by 2/10ths of a mill. I guess that's their opinion of what is "the people's money.

The tax rate will be set this Thursday, and I doubt that there will be a run on no-doze by county commisioners between now and that meeting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pasco County Property Millage Tax Rates Proposed to Drop

With a $1.1 billion budget, the highest in Pasco County's history, county officials may be adopting a decrease in the tax rate. The proposed budget will take effect on October 1st and would be the 6th year in a row that Pasco homeowners will see a reduction in the property tax rate.

The proposed rax rate would drop to $6.24 oer $1,000. of property valuation which represents a 44 cent decrease from the current rate. Most Pasco residents also pay a municipal fire service tax and the proposed rate represents a 6 cent reduction per $1,000. of valuation.

The final budget should be approved in September.

Interested in buying or selling a home with all that money that you may be saving next year?
Contact: Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty. (813) 494-2124

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tampa Condominiums in New Tampa

The condominium conversion rage in New Tampa continues. There are approximately 10 complexes that are selling condos and all are competing for Buyers. As a result they are offering a lot of incentives to buyers. I meet with Condo Sales Representatives on a regular basis.

Buying a condominium is a bit more complex in some ways compared to buying a single family detached home. It is important that your realtor be experienced in condominium sales and even better if the realtor has experience working for an owner/developer as a sales representative too. A lot more questions need to be asked when buying a condominium; especially a condo conversion than the price, and the HOA fees! For my photo tour of condos currently on the market, please click on: .
Also visit my website at, and click on the Tampa Condominiums For Sale Button!

Downtown Tampa continues with new proposals for construction of high rise condominiums. The most recent is a local development group proposing a 28 story building with over 400 residential units and parking. Prices have not been released for this proposed building yet, but another recent proposed building touted prices from $200,000 for a one bedroom unit.

New Tampa Community Council seeks Candidates for Board of Directors

Members of the NTCC ( New Tampa Community Council ) interested in becoming a Board member should contact Vince Heilman. Vince's e-mail is: and his telephone number is 787-4127.

There are only two requirements to be a candidate:

1. Be interested in the community and maintaining our quality of life in New Tampa
2. Be a member in good standing with the Council

The nominating committee will interview candidates and present a slate to the Board in august, with ballots to be mailed to all members in the beginning of September.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Northwood Residents seek control over Northwood Palms Blvd

Plans by the Spanos Corp. to build aprtments on S.R. 56, north of Northwood including the extension of Northwood Palms Boulevard are being opposed by many Northwood residents. A contingency of Northwood residents showed up this week at the Pasco County Commission's meeting to voice their opposition over fears of increased traffic and a possible decrease in their property values.

Some members of the Commission explained that they understood the concerns of the residents, but could only provide some traffic calming such as roundabouts, etc. The Commission further explained that the purpose of the topic at the meeting was strictly to discuss a height and buffer requirement for the proposed apartments.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tampa Homes Sales

The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors (GTAR) published the following Tampa home sales data for the month of May: (This does not include data on Tampa New Home Sales.

New Tampa Home Sales in May: 77 Avg. Sales Price: $411,538 Avg. Days on Market: 49
Pasco County Home Sales " " 283 Avg. Sales Price: $256,891 Avg. Days on Market 55
(Includes Wesley Chapel)

Total Sales in the Month of May reported by GTAR: 1,613 Avg Sales Price: $283,856

Interested in Buying or Selling a Home? Contact Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty:
(813) 494-2124

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Tampa / Wesley Chapel Tennis Stadium

Plans for a 5,000 seat, 24 acre Pasco County National Tennis Stadium in Wesley Chapel, next to Saddlebrook Resort are moving forward. According to the Tampa Tribune, the original cost of the project was $5.7 million and will be operated by the nonprofit Saddlebrook Sports foundation. The next step is for the Southwest Florida Water Management District to give its approval at the end of July.

Russ Perlowski: Exit KG Realty

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Granny-flats Property Tax Break for Pasco County Homes

Pasco County commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance allowing full time residents to apply for tax exemptions for "inlaw suites" built after January of 2003 for use by older relatives. A Florida State law passed in 2002 allows counties to offer exemptions up to 20%.

Prior to putting on that addition for Granny, check with the Pasco County Property Appraiser's office for specific details.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Extension of State Road 56 into Wiregrass & Meadow Pointe

Recently Pulte Homes Corporation submitted the final plans for the first 3.4 miles extension of State Road 56 of the 5 miles road that will eventually connect to Morris Bridge Road.

Speaking with a Pasco County Growth Management representative on the phone this past week, I was told that the initial extension will at least take it to the Wiregrass High School and Middle School currently under construction at Mansfield Road in Meadow Pointe, and possible could connect to Meadow Pointe Boulevard.

Once State Road 56 is connected to Mansfield and Meadow Pointe Boulevard, I would anticipate a considerable reduction in traffic on County Line Road.

Interested in Buying or Selling a home? Give me a call or contact me via e-mail:
Russ Perlowski Exit KG Realty
(813) 494-2124 (800) 718-3948

New Tampa High School Plans

According to District leaders, the chances for another new high school in New Tampa are dwindling as there: "isn't a lot of land left in New Tampa".

Plans to open a new high school in the New Tampa area in 2010 have been modified with the possibility of a new high school being built in another area that could affect the New Tampa boundaries.

Plans are underway to build classroom additions at the Wharton and Freedom New Tampa High Schools.

Tampa Home Values

The Tampa Tribune reported on July 1, 2006 that "Property values rose to unprecedented levels this year in Hillsborough County, setting a record for the biggest single-year leap in taxable property dollar-value in the county's history."

The Tribune stated that homes rose an average of about 20 percent compared to a traditional 8 percent increase.

Interested in Buying or Selling a home?
Russ Perlowski Exit KG Realty (813) 494-2124 (800) 718-3948

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Hospitals in New Tampa Update

This past week, the two proposed hospitals in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel that presented their application/petition to the State for the Certificate of Need were denied. Additionally, the third proposed new hospital in the area (Connerton) was also denied. There were a total of ten hospitals that were petitioning to add/build in the state. Nine of the ten were denied, and the tenth withdrew its application.

Spokespersons for the proposed new hospitals in the area indicated that they would appeal.

Russ Perlowski, Real Estate Agent, Exit KG Realty

Saturday, June 17, 2006

New Tampa Meat Market to open in July

Brother's Market is scheduled to open in Live Oak (New Tampa) in July. The family owned business will sell beef, pork, & chicken along with deli sandwiches, & take out entrees.
Store hours will be from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. M-F, and from 10 to 5 on Saturday. The Market's location is: 20305 Bruce B. Downs

Monday, June 12, 2006

Florida Home Appreciation 2nd Highest in Nation. Tampa Homes in top 20 cities!

The Tampa Tribune reports that Tampa was among the nation's top 20 metro areas with the highest appreciation. According to a report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, existing home sales rose 27 percent during the first quarter of 2006 compared to the previous year. The rates of appreciation within Tampa, varied by neighborhood with the homes in the hottest communities of New Tampa and South Tampa generally benefitting from the highest appreciation percentages.

The rate of appreciation is slowing; summer has brought slower appreciation due to a decrease in demand and higher inventory. According to Andrew Leventis, an economist with the housing enterprise oversight office: "Housing prices have risen, inventory is rising, and it's taking longer for folks to sell their homes."

Interested in buying or selling a home? Contact Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty---(813) 494-2124

Saturday, June 10, 2006

April Home Sales Stats for New Tampa & Pasco from Greater Tampa Association of Realtors

New Tampa had 72 reported sales in April with an average sales price of $420,040. Average Days On Market was 44.

Pasco County had 298 home sales in April, with an average sales price of $251,300 and the average days on the market was 55.

Note: These numbers do not reflect private sales or new construction.

Interested in Buying or Selling a home? Give Russ Perlowski, People's Choice Realtya call at (813) 494-2124 or (800) 718-3948. Also visit my website at:

Another New Tampa Brunch Option!

Ciccio & Tony's is now serving Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
They are located at 16019 Tampa Palms Blvd, in Tampa Palms (813) 975-1222.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Shoppes of Wesley Chapel -- More shopping in "New Tampa"

It appears that New Tampa / Wesley Chapel will soon become the shopping mecca of Tampa. With the announcement of so many malls (see previous posts) to be built in such a small area, those of us fortunate enough to live here should have access to easy shopping. The Shoppes of Wesley Chapel will be located on Bruce B. Downs 1/2 mile North of S.R. 56. With a proposed 42,000 square feet, the $15 million shopping center will include a latin cafe, a Quiznos, and another Exit Realty office. Exit Realty, an international real estate firm now has over 140 offices in Florida alone and continues to grow rapidly.

The Shoppes of Wesley Chapel will be close to homes in Seven Oaks, Meadow Pointe, and the planned Wiregrass Ranch community.

Interested in Buying or Selling a home? Contact Russ Perlowski: Exit KG Realty.
(813) 494-2124.

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Homes & Road Extension in New Tampa

For over a year there have been rumors about Kinnan St. in Cross Creek being extended to connect to Mansfield. This would provide Live Oak Residents who reside in Hillsborough County another route in and out of their community. Three builders have plans to build 2,500 new homes in this area of Tampa and a 200,000 sq. ft. shopping center in the K-bar ranch.

Meadow Pointe residents however oppose the Kinnan-Mansfield connection as Mansfield is only a two lane road that currently dead ends at the two new Pasco County schools currently under construction. Once S.R. 56 is extended, it will connect to the Mansfield extension as well as Meadow Pointe Boulevard. Many Meadow Pointe residents prefer that Kinnan road be connected to Meadow Pointe Boulevard in Pasco Co.

Pasco County Assistant Administrator, Bipin Parikh opposes the application to connect the roads until S.R. 56 is extended. The extension of S.R. 56 could take another year or so. So, in the meantime there appears to be a standoff between the two counties and a road may be in the process of being extended that will go to nowhere!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

CDD Communities in Pasco County

CDD communities continue to be very popular with developers. The Pasco Tribune reports that there are 33 CDD communities in Pasco with three additional up for consideration by the Pasco County Commissioners. Pasco County attorney, Robert Sumner was recently quoted as saying: "Soon, we will have more people in CDD's than not in CDD's.

County commissioners recently had a one hour workshop regarding CDD communities and whether the county is giving sufficient oversight of the CDD's. This, in view of the fact that most new large developments are choosing CDD's and it appears that more and more homes in Pasco County will be in CDD communities.

In the New Tampa / Wesley Chapel area, the largest communities are CDD communities, with the homes in Meadow Pointe, Seven Oaks, and Lexington Oaks all under CDD.

For more information regarding CDD communities please refer to my previous post in January, under archives.

Thinking about Selling your home? Call me for a free market analysis:
Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty: (813) 494-2124

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shops at Wiregrass in New Tampa / Wesley Chapel Update

Developers recently revealed the artist renderings of the Shops at Wiregrass. Located at the corner of S.R. 56 and Bruce B. Downs in Wesley Chapel, the Shops will have three anchor stores: J C Penney, which is already open, Dillards, and a third yet to be named retailer. With a scheduled opening of Fall, 2007 the Shops at Wiregrass will feature brick paved sidewalks, clay-tiled roofs, limestone accents, fountains and outdoor benches for seating. Additionally, tree lined semi-circular streets and an upscale restaurant area will be features of the Mediterranean styled architecture.

Wiregrass Ranch, is a 5,000 plus acre project that will eventually have 16,000 homes and a total of over 4 million square feet of retail. It is located just a few miles east of the proposed Cypress Creek Town Center, with a projected 1.3 million square feet of open air shopping.

Thinking about Buying or Selling a Home? Contact Russ Perlowski, Exit KG Realty, (813) 494-2124.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Miniature Golf in New Tampa at Pebble Creek?

At a special homeowners association meeting this week about 100 residents showed up opposing the addition of miniature golf being added to the Pebble Creek Golf Course in New Tampa. The new owner of the golf course, Bill Place is asking the Hillsborough County commissioners to add miniature golf near the entrance to Pebble Creek. Place will host meetings this week at the golf club to respond to questions about the project, and if approved intends to start building the miniature course in November for a January 2007 opening.

Interested in a free market analysis on your home? Contact Russ Perlowski,
Exit KG Realty:
(813) 494-2124

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Outlet Mall Proposed for S. Pasco County

A large new 430,000 square foot outlet mall with approximately 120 brand name & designer outlet shops is in its early plans with a location just a few miles north of New Tampa, just south of S.R. 52 along I-75.

This announcement by the Chelsea Property Group was made recently and if built will only be a few miles north of our neighborhoods in New Tampa and a short jaunt from our homes. Stores in its already operating outlet mall in Orlando include Versace, Hilfiger, Banana Republic, Dior, & Ferragamo.

Interested in Buying or Selling a Home? Contact me, Russ Perlowski of People's Choice Realty, a realtor in New Tampa.

(813) 494-2124, or visit my website at: