Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Watergrass in Wesley Chapel

Watergrass in Wesley Chapel
On my drive to Watergrass, a new planned community of 2,000 homes in Wesley Chapel, I was thinking about how much Curley Road will change in the next five years. For now, you can still see cows grazing in pastures. With the projected growth on Curley it probably won't be long before they become hamburgers though.

Driving into Watergrass I noticed that they have not yet completed the entrance sign. There are some residents here though and building is underway with one builder. Watergrass is being developed by Crown Community Development, the same firm that developed the gorgeous community of Seven Oaks, which I believe is in its final phase of residential construction.
In my meeting with the builder's rep. I inquired how long before the clubhouse, pools, etc. will be in place. Well, it seems that it will be 18 months or longer from what I heard. Yet, in the meantime the residents will still be required to pay the annual CDD fees and the amenities will not be in place. The rep. reminded me that "the price of the homes is lower in the early stages of the development of Watergrass". When I asked to see an inventory home, I was informed that it was across from a park. How nice! I thought my customer might like that. Unfortunately, the park is still dirt with improvements being made as I was doing a walk through of the inventory home. Sometimes when you are one of the "pioneers" in a new community, I guess you just have to have faith of what it will become when it grows up! Just a word of caution to prospective buyers regarding any informational brochures and literature provided by builders and developers; there usually is fine print at the bottom of the brochures indicating that "Future development may or may not occur as shown on illustrations or maps."
The proposed Epperson Ranch development is across the street (more or less) from Watergrass. Plans are in place for widening and even re-routing part of Curley Road in preparation for the proposed Town Center, which I believe will be south of Watergrass. The builder's rep. also pointed out the proposed connector road from Curley Road to I-75. That would be great. I am just not sure of the status of that road.

Watergrass is underway. Epperson is proposed and at least part of Wiregrass is underway too. These three planned communities have a combined total of 13,500 homes in Wesley Chapel. (Soon to be lots of hamburgers from these three farm areas!)

Well, even though I always keep my camera with me, I really didn't see any good photograph opportunities--yet! As Watergrass develops I expect that will change and hopefully it will grow up to be as fine a community as Seven Oaks.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cypress Creek Mall on S.R. 56

Those of you who travel from Bruce B. Downs west on S.R. 56 probably have been seeing a commercial building going up on the south side of S.R. 56. This will be the home of two furniture stores (Ashleys & Haverty’s),a Chuck E. Cheese (I can hear the kids screaming for joy!), a Texas Roadhouse, and a lighting store. Going by the name of Cypress Creek, this "strip mall" is not to be confused with the Cypress Creek Towne Center “Mega-Mall” planned at I-75 & S.R. 56.

Wiregrass Ranch Update

Wiregrass Ranch Update:

Once again the attorney for the Wiregrass development in Wesley Chapel was before Pasco County Commissioners, and once again the commissioners zeroed in on its impact on local roads. The planned Wiregrass community is so huge, the commissioners remain concerned over possible future traffic gridlock from this 5,100 community with some 8,500 homes. With a projected addition of 40,000 residents over the next 20 years, in spite of the concessions Wiregrass developers have already made, the commission remains cautious. Nevertheless, the board amended the county’s long range plan to open the door for the project, according to Kevin Wiatrowski of the Tampa Tribune.

That amendment was critical for the project to gain state approval by mid March and come before the board for a “final” vote of approval in June. In the meantime, negotiations over the road issue which has plagued this project for so many months will continue. Wiatrowski further reports that the developers have already agreed to $477 million towards road improvements. Included in the road improvements are the extension of S.R. 56, to Meadow Pointe Boulevard, an extension of Chancey Road, and the north-south Porter road.

St. Petersburg Times Staff Writers on New Tampa

Late last month I had a call from a Dong Phuong Nguyen, a Staff Writer for the St. Pete Times. Phuong said that she found me from this New Tampa Blog and wanted to know if I would meet with her and her colleague Emily Nipps, also a Staff Writer for the Times. We agreed to meet this past week at Panera Bread, in New Tampa.
Phuong and Emily report on news and events in New Tampa. The first part of our meeting was to determine how they defined the geographical boundaries of New Tampa. It seems that the Times considers County Line Road to be the northern boundary.

It was fun discussing New Tampa with these two reporters; even the occasional "controversy" between homeowners and HOA's.

Phuong and Emily are interested in being contacted if you have a New Tampa (South of the Border!) story that needs covering and they can be reached via e-mail:

As luck would have it, I experienced some computer problems shortly thereafter due to a conflict with the new Internet Explorer 7, and additionally, I have been unable to log in to Blogger to make posts. (A blogger's nightmare!) Frankly, I am not even sure how I was able to get into Blogger tonight. I fear it was by accident!

Of course, I had to take a photo of these two Staff Writers for the St. Pete Times. So, if you have a story that you think should be told about New Tampa, send them an e-mail!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Town Homes to be built in Cory Lake Isles

Avatar Properties has announced that it will be building over 170 town homes in this gated community of New Tampa. Pricing will begin in the high $200,000's for the three and four bedroom town homes which will offer six floor plans.

These newly announced town homes will likely be competing with the town homes being built in nearby Arbor Greene.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Update on Two Proposed Developments on Bruce B. Downs

The Giunta Group was scheduled to present its revised plan for the controversial condo development on Bruce B. Downs between Lake Forest and Tampa Palms this month. The Tampa Tribune reports that the deadline to submit the revised plans was missed by the developer last month. This development has been opposed by many residents of these two communities over concerns of increased traffic on Bruce B. Downs. The developer has proposed "high rise" type condos (six stories) with the garage parking on the ground floor. The rezoning hearing on these condos will be rescheduled to March 6.

Additionally, the same Group has plans for the development of Trout Creek, also to be located on Bruce B. Downs near County Line Road. This development is planned to include 240 town homes, and 350 single family homes in addition to office space. The Trout Creek subdivision is scheduled for a hearing by the Hillsborough County zoning hearing master on February 5, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Road Improvements Update

New Tampa: (Hillsborough Co.)

  1. The widening of Cross Creek Boulevard to four lanes is underway. The additional lights to be installed at Arbor Greene and Cory Lake Isles will also be a welcome relief. The widening of Cross Creek Boulevard east from Cory Lake Isles to Morris Bridge Road is not included in this project.
  2. The status of the proposed Toll Road from Bruce B. Downs to I-275 remains uncertain. Currently this project is with the Tampa-Hillsbough County Expressway Authority. Broiled in controversy, this Board recently experienced the sudden resignation of its director, underwent a state audit and the auditors had 13 findings. There have been calls by state senators to "disband" this group or at the very least to "reconstitute" it. Due to the high cost of this East-West Connector Road, the Turnpike Authority previously "declined" participation in the road, saying that it would be the highest toll in the entire state of florida. Lastly, this road will be the first of its type in Florida, and would operate as a private toll road.
  3. The widening of Bruce B. Downs in Hillsborough County will be a slow go. The first section of the widening (between Pebble Creek Drive and Palm Springs Blvd) isn't expected to begin until 2008.
  4. The previous proposal to extend Kinnan St. north into Meadow Pointe connecting to Mansfield was "roadblocked" by Bipin Parikh, Assistant Pasco County Administrator, indicating that a more appropriate connection would be to Meadow Pointe Blvd., as it is designed for higher traffic.

Wesley Chapel:

  1. The widening of Bruce B. Downs from County Line Road to S.R. 54 should begin within the next couple of months and is estimated to take 18 to 24 months to complete. This widening will expand Bruce B. Downs to six lanes.
  2. Extension of S.R. 56 through Wiregrass to Meadow Pointe Boulevard. This extension should begin before October 2007 and be completed by October 2008. Designed for six lanes, this road will be at least four lanes with this extension, with possible future widening to six lanes.
  3. The widening of S.R. 54 from Bruce B. Downs to Curley Road. According to my contact at the Engineering Services Department for Pasco County, 90% of the design is complete, and acquisition of right of way has begun. The start date on this widening is the end of 2008, with an estimate of 2 years to completion.
  4. The controversial request to have Kinnan Road in Hillsborough County extended to connect to Mansfield Boulevard from Hillsborough County has been quiet. The connection can't occur without the approval/permission of Pasco County!

Note: I appreciate the kind cooperation given me by the Pasco County Engineering Department who updated me on the status of these road projects for Wesley Chapel.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Double Branch Elementary School

Construction is progressing on the new elementary school located in Meadow Pointe. The scheduled opening is for the next school year.

The Hillsborough County School Board will be holding a school boundary meeting on January 16th in the Sand Pine Elementary School cafeteria at 7:00 pm. School boundaries tend to be controversial as we have seen recently with the residents of Cory lake Isles.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Why I choose to live in Tampa

In addition to I maintain another blog that is more general about Tampa Real Estate. I recently made a post on Active Rain (a real estate network with over 12,000 real estate members and where I am one of two featured Real Estate Agents in Tampa!) about why I choose to live in Tampa. (I have lived in four countries and about seven states.)

In that post I also provided a link to a FUN Gasparilla video. Yup! This is the month of Tampa's great Gasparilla Festival!

Interested in a photo tour of Tampa, with lots of links and many of the great things that it has to offer us? click on the photo below: