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.