Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

Sportsplex project in Pasco nixed?

Pasco County has been in discussions with Sportsplex USA, a California based company to design, build, and manage a sports complex paid with tourist tax dollars. As recently as last month the Pasco Board of Commissioners voted to delay a decision to enter into a contractual agreement with the California based firm pending answers to questions posed at that time.

Well, Sportsplex USA has decided to take its marbles and go home and has informed the Board that it no longer is interested in managing the project for Pasco. Let's not forget that the previous Pasco Tourist tax project slated to be located in Wesley Chapel, (The Pasco National Tennis Center) failed in May of this year when the County and Saddlebrook Resorts could not agree on details of the agreement.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Cypress in New Tampa

Well, some signs have gone up at The Cypress in New Tampa, also home to LA FITNESS, SWEETBAY & Hudson Cleaners. (BBD and CLR in New Tampa)

The Ironman Store recently opened and it looks like Hungry Howies will be next! I have no opening dates for Pitas Republic, Grandeur Hair Design, or Optical Outlet. Also, Five Guys will be coming and The Tutoring Center and Scottrade were recently announced. (I have no telephone numbers so please call information in the future for numbers.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cypress Creek Town Center gets extension

A ten year extension to build the planned Cypress Creek Town Center was granted by Pasco County commissioners. The proposed mall has suffered a series of setbacks and now has until the end of 2021 to be built. Brochures about the proposed mall once touted names such as Super Target, Kohl's, Sports Authority, Circuit City, Staples, Linens 'n Things, and Old Navy as well as an AMC Theatres multiplex cinema, with an opening date of fall, 2008. Now, only time will tell when it will be built and what retail it will offer.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A pic of your pooch with "Santa Claws"!

Have a picture taken of your dog with Santa at The Shops at Wiregrass on December 20, 2009 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Details Hopefully they will provide more details on this. Not sure if there is a charge, etc. (Picture to the left is of my pooch last year with Santa at Petsmart.) Also, Petsmart is offering a photo op with Santa again this year on December 12 & 13 and December 19 & 20 for $9.95. Petsmart

Builder addresses Chinese drywall in Heritage Isles

From The Tampa Tribune: A homeowner in Heritage Isles with Chinese drywall gets help from home builder Lennar: LINK Wow, a builder who is doing something positive about the issue!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

PACA to hold elections

The Pasco Alliance of Community Associations will hold elections of three board members in its December meeting. Additionally, there will be a presentation by Paula O'Neill, Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller on the foreclosure process and a brief summary on the Florida Friendly Landscaping law which became effective this year. The meeting will be held on December 10, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the Land O Lakes Community Center (5401 Land O Lakes Blvd.), and is open to members and the public.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

World Of Beer in Tampa Palms opens

I hear from the WOB in Westchase that the new World of Beer in Tampa Palms (behind Olive Garden) opened on Wednesday. Their website does not indicate that they are open, but with the hectic pace of trying to open, websites sometimes lag behind. Telephone: 813-632-0020 .

Hillsborough Transportation Plan for 2035

The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization will seek public comment on its 2035 transportation plan on December 9, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in the County Center Building (601 E. Kennedy Blvd., BOCC Chambers), Tampa, FL.

Hillsborough MPO 2035 LRTP Video from Hillsborough County MPO on Vimeo.

Here's the summary brochure and a SURVEY. Additional information may be obtained on the website: .

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bridgewater homeowners association enforcing covenants

The homeowners association of Bridgewater in Wesley Chapel is enforcing its HOA covenants and restrictions in an attempt to turn around the community which has been tarnished by high foreclosures and rentals. By doing so, some Bridgewater homeowners feel that the efforts are extreme. HOA covenants are generally designed to protect the "standards" of a community; so why is enforcement considered bad by some homeowners? See the following: Bay News 9 Video link and the Tampa Tribune article by Kevin Wiatrowski published on November 22, 2009.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Community College for Wesley Chapel

The big news this week is that Wesley Chapel will get a community college.  The Pasco-Hernando Community College plans to acquire 60 acres of donated Wiregrass Ranch land just north of the Wiregrass Ranch High School and south of SR 56.  The Tampa Tribune further reports that the closing of the land deal for the fifth campus is expected in January and it will be two to three years before construction of the new campus begins.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Primebar opens at Wiregrass

Primebar officially opens tomorrow at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel and is located across from Grillsmith on Piazza Avenue. Primebar will offer al fresco seating which is perfect this time of year. (Sorry, I don't have a phone number yet.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Home inspections on Short Sale homes short circuited

So, after waiting months for the Seller's lender(s) to respond to your offer to purchase that Short Sale home, you finally have an approved contract and are ready to start the home inspections on the vacant home.   Right? 

Maybe not if the power company is Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative!  According to the Tampa Tribune, WREC has been refusing to temporarily turn on the power at vacant homes for inspections if there is an unpaid balance remaining from the "previous" owner.  You can't properly inspect the HVAC, major appliances, etc. without power, and the owner who is "short selling" the home with an unpaid electricity bill balance may not have the money to pay to get the power turned on. Buyers aren't too eager to pay unpaid balances on electricity bills just for a home inspection.  This impasse is frustrating many in the short sale process which is already riddled with delays.

The situation has now received the attention of State Sen. Mike Fasano who is attempting to work out a compromise.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New I-75 / I-275 exit ramps to State Road 56

Traveling north on I-75 / I-275 you probably have noticed the tree clearance at the "wishbone" (apex).  Some major improvements recently have begun at this junction:

About the Project

The Florida Department of Transportation’s contractor is building new northbound exit ramps to State Road 56 (SR 56) from both Interstate 75 (I-75) and Interstate 275 (I-275).
  • The I-275 northbound lanes will also be realigned within the I-75 / I-275 interchange.
  • Northbound I-75 will be widened and resurfaced from the I-275 interchange to SR 56.
  • Two bridges will be constructed:   A new northbound I-275 exit ramp to SR 56 will cross over I-75 and a bridge will be built across Cypress Creek for northbound I-75 traffic exiting to SR 56.
Improvement Highlights

  • Traffic exiting northbound I-275 or I-75 to SR 56 will be separated from mainline traffic to eliminate the need for lane changes.
  • Better drainage and lighting in this area.
The construction phasing is designed so that all existing lanes of traffic will be maintained on I-75, I-275, and the ramps during peak traffic hours.

In order to maintain the construction schedule and to minimize the impact to the public, it is necessary for the contractor to also work at night. Lane closures, traffic shifts, and traffic paces will be necessary during different phases of the project.

Project Limits: from I-275/I-75 interchange to State Road 56
Project Length: 2.3 miles
Estimated Construction Cost: $29.9 million
Start Date: October 17, 2009
Estimated Completion Date: Summer 2012

Thanks to a reader of this blog who provided the following link to a video simulation of I-75 improvements from Fowler north to SR 52.  Also note that the BBD flyover ramp has been completed since the making of the video.  LINK TO VIDEO SIMULATION

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NAR launches new website for homeowners

The National Association of Realtors has launched a new "beta" website for homeowners called HouseLogic with information on "everything you need to protect, maintain, and enhance the value of your home":

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Shops At Wiregrass holiday season kick off

The Alan Darcy Group will perform this year at the holiday season's Symphony in Lights Kick Off Celebration at The Shops at Wiregrass mall in Wesley Chapel on November 21, 2009, along with a special appearance by a "true Northerner" at 6:00 p.m..

Sportsplex SURVEY

Interested in answering a survey on the proposed Pasco County Sportsplex?  Towards the end of the survey your input on the specific location is requested and there are three Wesley Chapel locations to choose from among others.  Visit:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update on openings at The Shops at Wiregrass

Brookstone is now open at the mall and Lemon Fashion should open any day now. 

Barnies has a ways to go, but is now hiring according to the posted notice on the storefront!  Call Ibrahim at (813)  385-1138 (Please don't call me!)

I also hear that Primebar is now hoping to open on November 23rd.

Market update for Pebble Creek in New Tampa

Five single family homes were reported sold within the past month in Pebble Creek.*  Sold prices ranged from $148,900 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, REO/bank owned pool home needing TLC built in 1985 to $220,000 for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, pool home built in 1994. 

Asking prices for single family homes for sale in Pebble Creek currently go up to $260,000.

*Excludes any private sales

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Nutrition Smart opening in Wesley Chapel

The new Nutrition Smart in Wesley Chapel on BBD just south of SR 56 is planning to open on Monday, November 16, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.  according to their websiteNote:  Previously, the site showed November 11th as the opening date.  Additional info:  Phone:  (813) 341-4444. 

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Homebuyer tax credit extended and expanded

Congress has passed an extension of the $8,000 tax credit for qualifying first time homebuyers and expanded it for a $6,500 credit for qualifying homebuyers who are not first time home buyers.   It is anticipated that the President will sign the bill as soon as tomorrow.  The National Association of Realtors has provided a comparison of the existing and new programs and brief summaries at this link.  More details to follow.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Speed limit on Meadow Pointe Blvd. to be raised

From The Tampa Tribune:  The speed limit of 30 mph on Meadow Pointe Blvd. will be raised to 45 mph from Sheringham Way to SR 54 and to 40 from Beardsley to Sheringham Way.  Not too many people seem to adhere to the 30 mph limit anyway!

Cell tower goes up at John Long Middle School

The cell tower going up today at John Long Middle School in Wesley Chapel looks very similar to the one erected at the Meadow Pointe III clubhouse in January :

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Symphony in lights announced for The Shops At Wiregrass

Center Court at The Shops at Wiregrass was jam packed last year for the debut of the Symphony In Lights Show . The mall had just opened a few weeks earlier and there was a lot of buzz about the mall and the holiday show. This year the Symphony In Lights show returns and will debut on November 21st at 5:00 p.m.  Note:  11/12/2009  The previous date and time was provided in written marketing material by the mall, but surprisingly wasn't shown on the mall's website until today with a 6:00 p.m. time instead of 5:00.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Red light camera to be installed at Bruce B. Downs and Fletcher intersection

A red light camera will be installed at the BBD and Fletcher Ave. intersection within the next week or two.  Just one of ten intersections to be monitored by the controversial cameras, motorists who blow through a red light on camera can expect warnings after installation until December when the fine for running a red light will be $125.00.  Of course you can still be ticketed the old fashioned way before then by a law enforcement officer who observes the traffic infraction.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Public meetings announced for multi-purpose sports complex project in Pasco County

Pasco County and Sportsplex USA have announced two public meetings to discuss the proposed multi-purpose sports complex.  The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 10 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the Pasco County Courthouse in Dade City, and the second meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the West Pasco Government Center Board Room in New Port Richey.  While the specific site for the complex has not yet been determined, brief presentations will be made about the project and public comment will be received.  Wesley Chapel is one of the locations under consideration for the complex.

World Of Beer in New Tampa set to open in November

The World Of Beer under construction in The Pointe At Tampa Palms (behind Olive Garden) is shooting for a November opening.  According to information posted at the site, job applications are being accepted online at

Palm Cove in Wesley Chapel

Five homes were reported sold in Palm Cove in the past month with prices ranging from $155,000 to $189,900.  Additionally, 19 homes are under contract with most of those identified as short sales or pre-foreclosures.  Homes for sale in Palm Cove currently range from $139,000 to $251,442.*
 *Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Coming soon to The Shops at Wiregrass

There are a number of retail shops and restaurants/bars racing to open next month for the holiday shopping season:

Lemon Fashion located at Center Court next to Pottery Barn; Barnies across from AJA (also under construction); & Brookstone.  Primebar has a target opening date of November 16.        

I also have been told that AJA is looking to open in December.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Squatters in Bridgewater?

According to Fox 13 news, The Florida Community Preservation Corporation recently posted over 100 notices on homes in Bridgewater. The local fox news station reports that the company plans to "take over" some vacant homes in Bridgewater without title to the homes. Huh? Outrageous!  Watch the video below (after the commercial) for details:

Link to written article

Monday, October 19, 2009

Primebar at The Shops at Wiregrass hiring

Primebar, under construction at The Shops at Wiregrass is hiring for all positions (Line and Prep Cooks, Dishwashers, Servers, Bartenders, Hostesses, Door Host, Bussers, Barbacks). All positions need to have at least 2 years experience in a high volume restaurant/bar. The job fair will be held in front of the Dillard's Courtyard from October 19th to the 23rd from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Saturday, October 24th from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. They are only taking applications in person and there is no phone, so no phone calls.   NOTE:  On October 27th I saw that they were still holding the job fair!

New fire station for New Tampa

Construction of a new fire station next to the Cross Creek Plaza in New Tampa is scheduled to begin before the end of the year. The 8,600 sq. ft. station with an estimated construction cost of $1.6 million will be funded with federal stimulus funds.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Garden Montessori School certified green

The Garden Montessori School in Wesley Chapel which opened this past June was awarded green certification by the Green Business League, Inc., a green technology and best-practices organization.

Located on Boyette Road, the school demonstrated "a high level of commitment to environmentally friendly practices; becoming more energy efficient, replacing paper-based communications, switching to non-toxic cleaning practices, and implementing recycling and composting programs". According to co-owner Stefani Ruskin: "Our primary motivation for going green was to provide the children with a healthy environment." School Website Phone: ( 813 ) 991 - 6335

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pasco County seeks transit input

Transportation officials from Pasco County will hold a public meeting on Thursday at the Land O Lakes Community Center from 3:30 to 6:30 PM. Public input is sought by the county for its update on its Long Range Transportation Plan on roads, public transit, etc. Additionally, display boards of the plan will be on hand for viewing by the public. Additional info: (727) 847-8140

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Suncoast Arts Fest returns to Wesley Chapel in January

The Suncoast Arts Fest will return to The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel in January. The arts festival was held at the mall earlier this year in May with a reported 70,000 visitors and will be held on January 23rd, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and January 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Application for artists and craftsmen Phone: (727) 534-3445

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

hhgregg opens

The new hhgregg in New Tampa's Market Square opens today. Address: 6250 Commerce Palms Dr. Phone: (813) 402-3211:

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Short sale delays threaten to cost many $8,000.

First time home buyers who are eligible for the tax credit up to $8,000 and are under contract on short sale homes are feeling the pressure of the November 30 deadline. It is unfortunate that the sellers' lenders don't feel pressure to give a timely response on Short Sales! (Contracts on short sale homes must be approved by the seller's lender(s) and that can take as long as seven months!)
James Thorner, real estate expert of the St. Pete Times writes: "An estimated 1.4 million home buyers across the country, including 106,000 in Florida, have claimed the credit already. But with the deadline less than two months away--and little indication so far that Congress will extend the freebie--real estate agents and home builders are warning buyers away from shilly-shallying with the bank." (on short sales). Full Story from the St. Pete Times

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Goodwill retail store

The Goodwill superstore going up on Willow Oak Dr., across from the Texas Roadhouse on SR 56 in Wesley Chapel:

Monday, September 28, 2009


Dogtoberfest will be held at The Shops at Wiregrass on October 17th, 2009 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Live concert by Rhythm Hounds

  • Doggie costume contest (Over $300.00 in prizes)

  • Dog adoptions

  • Professional photographer


Have A Happy Howloween!

Super Buffet

Sign located in front of former Johnny Carinos restaurant (closed since 2007) on SR 54 in Wesley Chapel:

Other than the photo, I have no additional info at this time.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Arbor Greene market update

Seven single family Arbor Greene homes were reported sold in MLS in the last month. Sold prices ranged from a low of $155,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home to a high of $355,000 for a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with a 3 car garage.
This gated New Tampa community has single family homes listed for sale with prices ranging from $200,000. to $700,000.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chili cookoff today at The Shops at Wiregrass

The Steve Otto Chili CookOff today at The Shops at Wiregrass until 4:00 p.m. (or until chili runs out):

New Tampa community in jeopardy of bond default

The Tampa Tribune reports that Heritage Isles in New Tampa will default on its bond next week. According to the Tribune: "The board said it does not have the money to make the bond payment due Thursday and its debt service funds have been depleted." Full story from the Tampa Tribune

Pasco Zoning/Code Administrator to speak at October PACA meeting

Debra Zampetti, Pasco County Zoning/Code Compliance Administrator will speak at the next Pasco Alliance of Community Associations' (PACA) meeting on October 8, 2009. Many residents and communities are facing issues with distressed properties such as lawns and pools that are not being maintained. Zampetti also will answer questions at the end of the meeting. Where? The Land O Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O Lakes Blvd. When? October 8th at 7 p.m. The public is invited!

Friday, September 25, 2009

PR for Bridgewater

The Tampa Tribune reports that the Wesley Chapel community of Bridgewater has hired a public relations firm to help turn around the image of the community and increase property values. Hit with high foreclosures, (TBO slide show) other issues and list home prices starting at $110,000., Bridgewater is trying this new approach with focusing on the positives of the community. Full Story St. Petersburg Times October 13th piece on Bridgewater: Link

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another traffic light goes up on Bruce B. Downs

Another traffic light is going up on BBD at Williamsburg Dr. This is only about a mile or so north of a traffic light that was recently installed just south of County Line Road at the entrance to The Cypress (LA Fitness and Sweetbay). It's great that they are finally widening BBD from SR 54 southward, but it sure is going to be a lot of "stop and go" if they keep adding lights!

Footloose in October

The New Tampa Players will present Footloose on October 16-18 & 24-25. Times:
Oct 16 - 8 pm, Oct 17- 2 pm and 8 pm, Oct 18 - 2 pm, Oct 24 - 8 pm, Oct 25- 2 pm. Additional info: Website Phone: (813) 386-6687.

Monday, September 21, 2009

October craft show at The Grove in Wesley Chapel

The Hyundai and Mazda Wesley Chapel Craft Show and the Battle of the Wings contest will be held at The Grove mall in Wesley Chapel on October 17 & 18, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Artists and craftsmen can register up until September 30, 2009 ($100.00 fee). Additional info: Website

Note: The Tampa Palms Arts and Crafts Show will be held on the same dates!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pasco County continues to grow

Bay News 9 reports that Pasco County continues to grow in spite of a recession while neighboring counties such as Hillsborough and Pinellas show population declines. Pasco, the fastest growing Bay area county for 20 years, expects to have a population increase of 14% over the next two years. Full story and Video

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tampa New Home Builder Survey

J.D. Power & Associates has released the results of the 2009 new home builder customer satisfaction study for Tampa. Topping the Tampa list for customer satisfaction is Pulte Homes; followed by Standard Pacific Homes. Full Tampa Study

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tampa home inventories continue decline

Inventories of homes on the market continue to decline according to information reported by the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors. At its peak, the highest months of inventory reported was 24.9 in January, 2008. The amount of inventory reported for July, 2009 (the most recent data reported) was 8.2; the lowest reported since June, 2006.

Monday, September 14, 2009

AJA at The Shops at Wiregrass hiring

AJA at The Shops at Wiregrass is hiring:
Bartenders, Cocktail Servers, Barbacks, Kitchen Staff, Security/Guest Relations, Hostess. See following link regarding opening date of AJA:  No phone number is available.