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.