Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Slide Show of New Tampa and Wesley Chapel in 2007

There's been a lot going on in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel in 2007. I have compiled a slide show for 2007.

Click on the photo below. (Music is provided.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Tampa and Wesley Chapel -- 2007 A Year in Review


Probably the biggest news this past year was the groundbreaking of three major malls in Wesley Chapel; the Grove, Cypress Creek Town Center, and Shops at Wiregrass. Part of Phase I of the Grove has opened, the Shops at Wiregrass has plenty of steel up, and Cypress Creek Town Center trails the three in construction, with earth movement still underway. With the opening of these three malls in 2008, we will see around 3 million square feet of retail space in our part of town, including two movie theaters.

Ground was broken in 2007 for smaller strip malls along Bruce B. Downs in Wesley Chapel, including the Shoppes of Wesley Chapel (BBD) and the Shoppes at Meadow Pointe—future home of Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

The July approval of the 5,000 acre residential community of Wiregrass at S.R. 56 and BBD made big news too; however since the approval there seems to be little physical evidence of the project moving forward so far.

Additionally, partial approval by Pasco County was granted for the 1,700 plus acre, Epperson Ranch project, and then Lennar sold it!

The widening of CR 54 in Wesley Chapel is well underway and long overdue. The improvements at the intersection of County Line Road and Bruce B. Downs are expected to be completed in January. The new flyover ramp for I-75 at BBD began and we now see the placement of huge beams over Bruce B. Downs.

The widening of Bruce B. Downs (Pasco Co.) from County Line Road to 54 was delayed and now is supposed to start in January 2008; additionally, the extension of S.R. 56 from Bruce B. Downs to Meadow Pointe Blvd. should begin soon too. The intersection of Bruce B. Downs and S.R. 56 will become the largest in Pasco County when completed.

Threats by Hillsborough County Commissioners to place a toll booth on Bruce B. Downs at the county line with Pasco County appear to have gone nowhere. It seems that commissioners of Hillsborough County felt that they should get some funds from Pasco Co. for the Hillsborough County widening of Bruce B. Downs from Pebble Creek to County Line Road. So far, not a dime has been reported as a contribution by Pasco County for Hillsborough County’s road widening of BBD.

The widening of a large portion of Cross Creek Blvd. in New Tampa was completed and additional traffic lights installed. The road to nowhere (Kinnan Rd.) in New Tampa was built and never connected to Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel (Pasco Co.).

East - West Connector in New Tampa: This proposed 3.1 mile toll road is supposed to connect Bruce B. Downs to I-275 if it ever gets built. The Florida Turnpike Authority wanted nothing to do with it saying it would be the most expensive toll road in the entire state of Florida. Private companies offered to build it, but wanted to charge a starting toll up to $2.75 in its first year with increases thereafter. Last heard, the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority was trying to reduce the amount of the toll by narrowing the proposed road in order to lower the construction cost. That road narrowing would require lowering the speed limit to 55 mph.

The I-75, Bruce B. Downs Flyover ramp construction began and we now see huge girders in place over BBD. I hope they used good superglue!

The 80 bed UCH/Adventist Health Systems hospital is proposed to be built on Wiregrass Ranch. Its approval by the state is being contested by competing hospitals that were denied their Certificates of Need. Once construction starts, it is estimated that it will take three years to complete.

Construction of an over 19,000 square ft. community center and a Skate Park in Tampa Palms began and the community center should open in January 2008.

The $7.7 million, 5,000 seat Pasco National Tennis Center to be built in Wesley Chapel, got the green light from county commissioners.

The first phase of the 143 acre Wesley Chapel District Park opened in July and Wesley Chapel celebrated its first annual “holiday tree” lighting. A New 232 acre New Tampa Nature Park at Dona Michelle Dr. was also announced.

The Hampton Inn, announced this past March for Wesley Chapel at S.R. 56 & I-75 is slated to open in February, 2008.


Lifepoint Church in New Tampa purchased the former Winn Dixie on Bruce B. Downs and converted the building to its church, and Cypress Point Community Church built its new church on Morris Bridge Road in New Tampa.

TV’s Supernanny filmed in Wesley Chapel this summer. In September, sextuplets were born to the Bylers who reside in Wesley Chapel. The Byler sextuplets were the first sextuplets born in Florida.

Inventories of homes for sales remained high in the area much like most of the rest of the country. Sellers needed to accept that the peak home values of 2004 and 2005 were something of the past and had to adjust their list prices accordingly if they wanted to sell.

Cafe Fresco and Bakery Opens in Wesley Chapel

Cafe Fresco and Bakery opened today. This is a family owned restaurant, and while there I spoke with James Foggett who owns the new restaurant along with his son Chris. The restaurant and bakery serves breakfast until 11:00 a.m. and also offers a lunch menu with soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and pizzas. The restaurant and bakery has fresh baked goods and also plans to offer a brunch. The family lives in Wesley Chapel and Land O Lakes, so stop by and support our neighbors! Location: Cypress View Square at 27209 S.R. 56, in Wesley Chapel, FL. Phone (813) 333-1200 Website:

Note: Closed Christmas day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wesley Chapel Hampton Inn and Suites to Open

Wesley Chapel's newest hotel, the Hampton Inn and Suites is scheduled to open in February, 2008. Located on S.R. 56 @ I-75, the hotel is located next to a nature preserve and will have a heated pool. Rooms will have free high speed wireless internet access, and flat screen LCD high definition TV's.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Exit Ramps at Tampa International Airport

If you are picking up friends or family from Tampa International airport, be advised that they have opened up two new exit ramps at the airport today. Pay close attention to the signs when exiting.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Principal named for Veterans Elementary School in Wesley Chapel

Donna Busby has been named as the principal for Veterans Elementary School in Wesley Chapel. Busby has been principal at Moon Lake Elementary School since 2002. Currently under construction, the new Wesley Chapel elementary school will open in August of 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Buffet at Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel

Tropics Restaurant at Saddlebrook Resort will be offering a Christmas Buffet from Noon to 8:00 p.m. The buffet will have a carving station---Steamship of Beef with a Cypress Salt Crust, Cedar Plank Seabass, Sweet Chile Glaze; Sushi, Shrimp, and Ravioli Stations, along with much more. $42.95/Adult, Children ages 5-12 $18.95. Reservations required: (813) 907-4441.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I 75 Lane Closures in New Tampa

The left lane will be closed on both northbound and southbound I-75 from the Hillsborough River (north of Fletcher Avenue, Exit 266) to just north of the Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (County Road 581, Exit 270) interchange from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday (December 16-21) nights.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New River Elementary School

The New River Elementary School plans to move into the new building in February. Currently the school is in temporary housing at Sand Pine in Meadow Pointe, and I am sure that residents of New River Township and the surrounding area will be happy when the new building opens after Presidents Day in February, 2008.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cory Lake Isles CDD Meeting

The "Reserve Committee" of the Cory Lake Isles CDD will hold a meeting on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. at the Beach Club. The public is welcome.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lutz Celebrates Christmas in the Park

On Tuesday, December 11, 2007, neighboring Lutz will celebrate Christmas In The Park. It will be held at the Bullard Train Depot Park (US 41 & Lutz Lake Fern Rd.) from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The festivities will include a tree lighting, holiday music, free refreshments and of course Santa!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Night Closings of Bruce B. Downs under I 75 and Detour Have Ended

The night closings of Bruce B. Downs under I - 75 and detour have ended. Only the right lane will be closed on Bruce B. Downs Wednesday from 8:30 p.m. to Thursday 5:00 a.m. and traffic will not be detoured.

Epperson Ranch Planned Development SOLD and other Projects Quiet!

At a time when builders all across the country are experiencing significant losses, I guess it isn't surprising that Lennar has sold all its interests in the Epperson Ranch project. The Tampa Tribune reports the 1,742 acres and the 3,905 homesites that Lennar recently secured with Pasco County and regional planners have been sold to Metro Development Group.

The project commitments for the realignment of Curley road and the Town Center pass on to Metro.

Additionally, the "silence has been deafening" on the residential portion of the approved massive 5,000 acre Wiregrass Ranch project in Wesley Chapel. The commercial development of the Shops at Wiregrass is progressing and I am usually very surprised at the progress when I stop by.

It also has been a while since I have heard anything regarding the 2,000 acre residential development of Bella Verde in nearby San Antonio, FL.

Lastly, Coldwell Banker recently quietly closed its Tampa Palms office.

I guess all signs of the times!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tampa Palms Market Analysis

Tampa Palms, considered by many to be New Tampa's most prestigious community, currently has 88 single family homes listed for sale in our local MLS. List prices range from $222,000. for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with 1,883 square feet to $2,990,000 for a 6,790 sq. ft (heated & cooled) pool home with six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and 2 half baths which was built in 2004.

Tampa Palms is about to undertake an upgrade to some of the common areas and will likely convert its famous blue tiled and gold entryway signs to black granite with gold lettering.

Below is a chart depicting the sales in Tampa Palms for single family homes for November, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Wesley Chapel's First Annual Tree Lighting

Controversy over whether to call the celebration a Christmas tree celebration or a Holiday tree celebration in Wesley Chapel is not unique to the community. It is an issue faced by many communities and organizations. The Wall Street Journal has a VIDEO regarding the issue. Click on this link for for the VIDEO.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Round Two in Cory Lake Isles Homeowners v. Cory Lake Isles Property Owners Association

Today, the Tampa Tribune reports that the attorney for the Cory Lake Isles Property Owner’s Association denied points made in a suit filed by some Cory Lake Isles homeowners, seeking financial documents relating to maintenance and operating expenses. The Tribune added that the association did not file a motion to dismiss the suit. Link

Stay tuned for round three in this match! "Ladies and gentlemen, let's rumble!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

Night Closing of Bruce B. Downs At I-75 Extended to Next Week

Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in New Tampa (County Road 581) will be closed under I-75 as follows: 9 p.m. Friday (November 30) to 5:30 a.m. Saturday (December 1);


8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (December 2-6) nights.

During the closures, no traffic will be able to pass under I-75. Motorists will be directed onto I-75 on either side of the interstate. DETOUR: Enter I-75, exit at the next interchange (either SR 56 or Fletcher Avenue), enter the other direction of I-75, and exit at Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cypress Creek Town Center in Wesley Chapel Announces Restaurant and Store Line Up!

The Cypress Creek Town Center announced that the following restaurants and stores have signed on to the largest of the three Wesley Chapel malls under construction. The Cypress Creek Town Center has a projected opening of fall, 2008.

AMC Theatres, Akaya Japanese Steak House, Asphalt, Bamboo Creek, Asian Bistro, Books-A-Million, Caribbean Adventures Travel, Circuit City, Claire’s Boutique, Coldstone Creamery, Dress Barn, Family Christian Bookstore, Famous Footwear, Fish City, 5 Guys Original Hamburgers, Game Stop, Hair Matrix, Hallmark, Jamba Juice, Justice for Girls, Kohl’s, Linens-N-Things, MacDill Federal Credit Union, Matoi Sushi, Mattress Firm, Motherhood Maternity, Movie Stop, Nail Trix, Old Navy, P.F. Changs, Panera Bread, Payless Shoe Source, Picture Factory, Red Brick Pizza, Soccer Corner, Sports Authority, Staples, SuperTarget, T-Mobile, TGI Friday’s, Urban Flats, Vitamin Stop, Yankee Candle*

Source: St. Petersburg Times

Change in hours of closing of Bruce B. Downs at I-75

Traffic will be detoured from Bruce B. Downs (North and South) at I-75, one half hour earlier than previously announced. The closing of Bruce B. downs at I-75 will now start at 8:30 p.m and last until 5:00 a.m. through Friday of this week.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cory Lake Isles Market Analysis

Cory Lake Isles has 98 single family homes for sale, ranging in price from $249,000. to $1,489,000. The List Price per Square Ft (heated & cooled) ranges from $115.00 to $291.00.

Below is a chart of single family homes sold in Cory Lake Isles in the last month. The Sales Price per Sq. Ft. (heated & cooled) ranged from $109.64 to $183.54.

*Data provided by Mid Florida Regional multiple listing system for the Greater Tampa Area and does not include all new homes sales or private sales.

Bruce B. Down Closure at Night

Just a reminder about Bruce B. Downs being closed nights at I-75 starting tonight! Also: Click here for brief video.

Angry Cory Lake Isles Villagers

The description in the St. Petersburg Times of a November 13, 2007 meeting between 150 Cory Lake Isles residents and their association and developer, was a bit reminiscent of a scene from an old 1930’s film where angry torch-carrying villagers storm the castle.

While there were no reports of torches, the St. Pete Times reported that the meeting was filled with boos, hisses, and shouting by angry residents, and before the two hour tense meeting ended, the developer and association attorney walked out. Apparently a lawsuit was filed last month by some homeowners of Cory Lake Isles, seeking documents from the association regarding expenses for maintenance and operation. (Annual CDD fees can run as much as $8,000 in this affluent, gated and guarded New Tampa community.)

The Times reported that days before the meeting, Cory Lake Isles residents received a flier suggesting they may incur a special assessment for legal expenses to defend the suit. (The Tampa Tribune reported on November 21st that Florida law prohibits builder-controlled associations from assessing residents to pay for lawsuits.)

An answer to the complaint is expected today. Regardless of that answer, I don’t think we have heard the last of this and a sequel is probably in the works--perhaps torches and all!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Tree Farm

Want to cut your own tree for Christmas this year? You may want to go to the Ergle Christmas Tree Farm in Dade City. (No, they won't have snow as is depicted in the photo I am posting!) Hours from: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Website: .

Wesley Chapel Tree Lighting Celebration!

The first annual Christmas tree lighting celebration in Wesley Chapel is planned for December 1, 2007 in our new Wesley Chapel District Park on Boyette Rd. The event is scheduled from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with plans for choirs, bands, games, and a children's parade. The event is hosted by the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce.

Black Friday in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel

Black Friday is upon us once again and the mall holiday shopping trips south by New Tampa and Wesley Chapel residents begin. This will probably be the last year that we see heavy southbound traffic from shoppers on Black Friday though.

With almost 3 million square feet in 3 new malls opening in Wesley Chapel in 2008, traffic patterns will be reversed as local residents and shoppers from Tampa choose to shop at “our” new malls. By then, I expect the widening of Bruce B. Downs from County Line Rd. to S.R. 54, the massive intersection at S.R. 56 and Bruce B. Downs, and at least part of the extension of S.R. 56 to be complete. The widening of S.R. 54 (west of I-75) should be underway, if not complete too.

It will be interesting to see the impact all this new Wesley Chapel retail space will have on nearby University Mall, with rumors of its closing.

I am not much of a mall shopper and this is certainly one day out of the year that I refuse to even enter a mall parking lot. Happy shopping folks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Flugelhorn Concert in Wesley Chapel

A flugelhorn concert will be presented in the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel on November 27th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.00. Additional info: (813) 794-8772.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pebble Creek Holiday Festival in New Tampa

Pebble Creek is planning its first annual holiday crafts festival for December 1, 2007, from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Interested vendors and folks who want to display their crafts can contact Jennifer Lindner at 758-7463.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Should you keep your home on the market during the holidays?

This time of year, home sellers typically ask us if they should keep their home on the market during the holidays, or if they should take it off the market and put it back on after the first of the year.

According to our MLS, in New Tampa there are 689 single family homes listed for sale. For the entire month of October, our MLS system reflects 39 single family homes sold in New Tampa. Similarly, Wesley Chapel, currently has 817 single family homes on the market, with 58 sold in the month of October. Of course, these stats do not include all the new homes for sale with builders, or FSBO's (For Sale By Owners), etc.

So, clearly the statistics are pretty grim, even when it isn't the holiday season. This is what I say to sellers. "The competition is fierce because inventories are extremely high. During the holiday period, we typically see a decline in the number of homes that go under contract, BUT the Buyers who are out there, and looking are usually pretty motivated."

Taking your home off the market has no advantages in terms of freshness to Buyers, in my opinion. Now, with our MLS system, if a home is taken off the market for a short period of time, and then goes back on, we realtors see something referred to as CDOM (Consecutive Days On The Market). So, we automatically know that the home has been on the market a while. A new listing doesn't "reset the odometer" on a home that has been on the market. Not too long ago, if a home was taken off the market in the multiple listing system and then re-entered, we did not have the visibility of CDOM. We now do.

My recommendation is to keep your home on the market during the holidays. In this market sellers need EVERY showing that they can get! NEVER turn down a request for a showing! It only takes ONE buyer, and the showing you don't allow could be THAT buyer for your home.

The St. Petersburg Times Launches a New Tampa Blog

The St. Petersburg Times has launched a New Tampa blog, and it looks like I am now going to have more competition! Frankly, a LOT of the information I post on this blog comes from them. Great newspaper!

Up The Creek Fish Camp and Grill in Wesley Chapel

When Johnny Carinos in Wesley Chapel closed this past summer, it was reported that it would convert to Up The Creek Fish Camp and Grill later this year. Well, I haven't seen any indication that the restaurant was being converted and now understand that it will be next year before it opens. On another note, I noticed that Cafe Fresco and Bakery, also in Wesley Chapel (S.R. 56) is now advertising for help. Previously, they informed me that they were anticipating a December opening.

New Tampa Community Center

These days it's a bit tough to keep up with all of the new growth in the New Tampa / Wesley Chapel area! Of course there was a lot of hoopla over the opening of the first few stores at the Grove in the past week or so, but progress is being made on the other two malls in Wesley Chapel, The Shops at Wiregrass and Cypress Creek Town Center too. (See previous post.)

I had a few minutes to snap a picture of the progress on the New Tampa Community Center in Tampa Palms today too:

The new center is supposed to be ready in January and landscapers were there today.

Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel

Construction of the Shops at Wiregrass is progressing! The photo on the left is of the new construction of the mall where it attaches to JC Penney.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bankruptcy rumors about local home builders

Today the St. Pete Times had an article about bankruptcy rumors with three local builders: TOUSA (Engle Homes) in Live Oak Preserve, The Hammocks, and Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club; Beazer Homes, and Standard Pacific, who has presence in many local communities. Additional information can be found at this link.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Macy's coming to the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel

Back in August, I commented here that it was rumored that Macy's was going in to the new Wesley Chapel mall, the Shops at Wiregrass, but had no confirmation. Macy's has now announced that it will have a new store in Wesley Chapel at the mall, which is under construction . Construction of the new store is to begin in December, with a projected fall 2008 opening.

New Wesley Chapel Restaurants at the Grove

New Restaurants Announced for the Grove in Wesley Chapel, FL

At the grand opening of the new Wesley Chapel mall, the Grove, new restaurants slated to go in to the mall were announced:

Kumo Japanese Steakhouse, Pizzeria Uno, Fuddruckers, Marble Slab Creamery, Bear Creek Coffee, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and Pizzeria Valdiano have been named. Of course, none of these are open at this time and only four stores of this 800,000 square foot mall are open so far.

Bruce B. Downs to be closed nights at I 75 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (County Road 581) will be closed under I-75 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday nights (November 26-30) for bridge girder placement. No traffic will be able to pass under I-75. Motorists will be directed onto I-75 on either side of the interstate.

Just in case you don't remember what the construction is about, see photo below depicting future flyover ramp traveling south on Bruce B. Downs to access I-75 southbound.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

CVS Pharmacy Proposed on Mansfield Boulevard in Meadow Pointe

A 17,280 square foot strip mall and a 12,900 sq. foot CVS pharmacy are proposed to be built at Mansfield Boulevard and County Line Road in Meadow Pointe, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Grand Opening of the Grove in Wesley Chapel

The new Wesley Chapel mall, the Grove will be having its grand opening on November 9, 10, and 11. Two stores are now open at the mall (Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods), and Bed Bath and Beyond, Toys R Us, and Babies R Us are expected to open shortly.

Celebration of the grand opening of the Grove will include fireworks on Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Tampa Palms Real Estate

The following chart depicts the single family homes sold in October 2007 in Tampa Palms. A total of eight Tampa Palms homes were reported sold in the Tampa Multiple Listing System.SP/Sq. Ft. = Sales Price per square foot (heated & cooled). Note: Information does not include all new home sales or private sales.

New Tampa Skate Park Design Underway

New Tampa’s skate park that will be built at the New Tampa Community Park down the street from Liberty Middle School and Freedom High School is in the design stage. According to the St. Petersburg Times, construction of the 10,000 square foot site should begin in the beginning of 2008.

The first phase of the $3.7 million Community Center of the New Tampa Community Park, which has been under construction since March and will include a gymnastics center, should be completed late this year with a planned opening in 2008.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dick's Sporting Goods at The Grove in Wesley Chapel opens Friday.

Dick's Sporting Goods at The Grove will open on Friday at 9:00 a.m.. This is the second store to open at this new Wesley Chapel mall, joining Best Buy which opened last Friday. Website: .

Monday, October 29, 2007

Projected Opening Dates for New Restaurants in Wesley Chapel and New Tampa

Wesley Chapel:

The Café Fresco and Bakery (on north side of S.R. 56 in the Cypress View Square next to Sports + Field) is planning to open in early December, 2007.

Carrabba's Italian Grill (Shoppes of Meadow Pointe) is projecting a March, 2008 opening.

New Tampa:

Marco’s Pizza (near Bruster’s Ice Cream Shop at Live Oak) has announced a planned January, 2008 opening. Website:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interstate Road Improvements planned for Pasco County from the I-275/I-75 Apex North to S.R. 52

Plans to widen I-75 to six lanes also include major bridge improvements over County Road 54 in Wesley Chapel and separate exit ramps when traveling north from I-75 and I-275 to S.R. 56.
Don’t count on reduced commute times anytime soon. The road construction improvements aren’t expected to begin until 2009 and 2010. See following video link.

Wiregrass Hospital

University Community Hospital and Adventist Health System have now decided on building the new Wesley Chapel hospital on 50 acres in the future Wiregrass community. The 80 bed hospital received its certificate of need from the state earlier this year, but competing hospitals are challenging that decision. It looks like that issue could be resolved in March of 2008, giving them the green light to proceed. It's been reported that it will take three years to build the hospital.

The Wiregrass community has The Shops at Wiregrass under construction at this time. Additionally, it will be the home to the Pasco National Tennis Center. The question, I am asked over and over again is: "When will new homes be available in Wiregrass?" I don't know. Previously, Del Webb announced that its active adult community had been placed "on hold indefinitely".

I don't see any visible activity of ongoing construction work at Wiregrass other than the mall. Granted, I didn't do a fly over of the 5,000 acre project! This week I contacted the corporate offices of the builder for Wiregrass to inquire about the timeframe for the rest of the planned residential areas and my call was not returned.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best Buy at The Grove in Wesley Chapel to Open Friday

I stopped by The Grove, one of the three Wesley Chapel Malls under construction today. A Best Buy employee informed me that they will open on Friday at 10:00 a.m. I also heard that Dick's Sporting Goods, also at The Grove, is planning to open next week. By the looks of the inside of Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Toys R Us I would anticipate at least a few more weeks before they open as the stores are not stocked yet. These stores are among a number of stores that will open in the first phase of The Grove.

Also, construction of The Shops at Wiregrass is moving along. They have a forest of metal up already. I hear they are projecting an opening in August, 2008.

Lastly, the third mall under construction in the Wesley Chapel area, The Cypress Creek Town Center is still in the earth moving stages.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Homeowners Protest in Live Oak Preserve in New Tampa

Today, frustrated homeowners protested outside the sales center for Engle Homes in Live Oak Preserve, located in New Tampa during its "grand opening". Additional information about the Live Oak Preserve homeowners' frustrations/issues can be found at the following: Link to article in the St. Petersburg Times on October 22, 2007.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oopah! Acropolis Bar & Grill Opening in New Tampa

The public is invited to the grand opening of the Acropolis Bar and Grill tonight at 8:00 p.m. in New Tampa. The restaurant is located in the former Tampa Brickyard in the Oak Ramble Plaza on Bruce B. Downs. Website: .

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hunter's Green Community Sale

Hunter's Green will be holding its community "Trash and Treasure Sale", Saturday, October 20, 2007 from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.

New Tampa Arts Festival

The second annual New Tampa Arts Festival will be held on November 17 & 18, 2007 at the Palm Lake Office Complex in Tampa Palms (near the Bank of Tampa). Hosted by the New Tampa Community Council, the festival will open at 10:00 a.m.

Pasco National Tennis Center in Wesley Chapel

Another major step towards creating the Pasco National Tennis Center in Wesley Chapel was taken recently, when 24 acres of Wiregrass Ranch were donated. The $7.7 million tennis stadium will be paid from tourist tax dollars and will be run by Saddlebrook. Current plans are for 15 practice courts and a 5,000 seat stadium. There is a possibility that construction could begin within one year, after designs are finalized and bids received and awarded.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hillsborough gets no funding from Pasco for widening of BBD

Yesterday, the state gave its approval for the 5,000 acre Wiregrass development in Wesley Chapel. Pasco County will be receiving $579 million from the Wiregrass development for road improvements. Hillsborough County was hoping to get intervention at the state level for $28 million from Pasco to widen Bruce B. Downs, just south of the Hillsborough/Pasco border. The state essentially ignored the issue and Hillsborough was left holding an empty tin cup.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bruce B. Downs Toll DEAD! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

The preposterous idea by Hillsborough County Commissioners to turn Bruce B. Downs (BBD) into a toll road with toll booths (<------link to previous posts) at the Hillsborough/Pasco border has been declared dead by Hillsborough County Attorney, Renee Lee. The St. Pete Times, quotes Lee: "It's not really a viable solution right now."

Right now? I wonder if the toll would only be collected southbound, or northbound too? How would wting o would be willing to pay a toll to drive on Bruce B. Downs?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Market Analysis for Lexington Oaks in Wesley Chapel

There are currently 76 single family homes listed for sale in the golf community of Lexington Oaks in Wesley Chapel. List prices range from $179,000. to $489,900. The List Price per Square Foot (heated & cooled) range from lows of $92.00 and $94.00 to a high of $164.00.

Four homes have sold in Lexington Oaks in the last 30 days. The Sales Price per square foot (heated & cooled) ranged from a low of $107.00 to a high of $120.00, and the reported sales prices ranged from $217,000. to $323,000.

Note: Information provided by the Multiple Listing System for the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, and does not include all private sales.

Tampa Palms Arts and Crafts Show

The Tampa Palms Arts and Crafts show will be held this weekend at City Plaza!

Rattlesnake Festival in San Antonio

Nearby San Antonio, FL will be holding its annual Rattlesnake Festival on October 20th and 21st. The festival includes snake and reptile shows, an arts and crafts show, gopher races, and the rattlesnake run. Info:

Veterans Elementary School in Wesley Chapel

The new Veterans Elementary School in Wesley Chapel is being built for a capacity of 762 students with 83,868 net square feet. The school is expected to open in August, 2008 and is located on highway 54.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pasco Alliance of Community Associations

The Pasco Alliance of Community Associations was formed recently. The group strives to assist neighborhoods in transition from developer control to resident/owner control. PACA meets monthly and has guest speakers. Additional information can be obtained from their website: .

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Update on The Grove in Wesley Chapel

These are some pictures taken today of The Grove, in Wesley Chapel. The landscapers were busy, and palms, magnolias, and crepe myrtles have been planted. The opening of the first four stores (Bed Bath and Beyond, Toys R Us, Best Buy, and Dick's Sporting Goods) has been projected for the end of this month. Other stores at the Grove are expected to open next month, and the Cobb Theatres in April, 2008.