Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wesley Chapel's fresh market this Saturday

Last month we saw the first fresh market at The Shops at Wiregrass and for the first one, it drew a nice crowd including folks walking their dogs. The market is held the first Saturday of each month but I was thinking that they might not have it in January since it is New Year's Day. Well, they have the Fresh Market banner posted at the SR 56 and BBD intersection advertising the market on the 1st and the mall's calendar includes the event for Saturday too so the market is on for January 1st.

The cold weather will be gone by then and it will be a great opportunity to get out and enjoy our warmer weather and a more relaxed type of shopping after the holiday frenzy!  Last month there were several food trucks and a number of booths with fresh baked goods, so it's a fun event for a late "street" breakfast or lunch too.  Hours:  10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Suncoast Arts Fest ( 2011 ) returns to Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel next month

The very popular Suncoast Arts Fest returns to The Shops at Wiregrass in January so mark your calendars! The two day art show is scheduled for January 22 & 23, 2011 with up to 110 fine artists and craftsmen and 30 chalk artists participating. The juried show offers fine artists & craftsmen awards of up to $2,000.

Here's a video about last year's Suncoast Arts Fest at The Shops at Wiregrass which attracted over 100,000 visitors:


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bella Med Spa in Wesley Chapel

The Bella Med Spa will be relocating to the Nutrition Smart shopping center on BBD in Wesley Chapel some time next spring.  The spa currently is located in Seven Oaks.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tampa among top 20 worst cities for commutes according to TheStreet & Bundle

While we are experiencing a good bit of pain with the widening projects of Bruce B. Downs in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel and the widening of SR 54 in Wesley Chapel, the time in our cars commuting should be markedly improved when these projects are complete. 

A recently released study by TheStreet and Bundle however ranks Tampa in the bottom 20 of 90 cities for commuting.  The rankings were based on average commute time, number of commuters during peak hours, total miles traveled daily, annual hours of delay per commuter during peak hours, and spending on gas an auto expenses.  The top 5 worst cities for commutes according to the study?  Dallas, San Jose, Houston, Miami, & Phoenix.  Link

Friday, December 10, 2010

Site work begins for the Wesley Chapel Medical Center & groundbreaking is next week

Site work recently began for the Wesley Chapel Medical Center, located just north of The Shops at Wiregrass on BBD and the groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for next week on December 14, 2010.

The Wesley Chapel Medical Center is an 80 bed acute care hospital providing patient centered services that will be built on 52 acres in the heart of Wesley Chapel.  "The hospital is designed to give residents of the communities in and around Wesley Chapel access to innovative health care, state of the art technology and the latest in health & wellness programs and services.

The Wesley Chapel hospital is expected to take between 18 to 24 months to construct and when done the 200,000 sq. ft. hospital will offer pediatrics, obstetrics, women’s and men’s services, general surgery, an emergency department with helicopter pad, a comprehensive medical fitness center, orthopedics, sports medicine and a 100,000 sq. ft. medical office building. Additionally, the facility’s design allows for future expansion as new services are needed for the community. The architectural design also includes the use of natural light and gardens to enhance the healing process."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

La Cubanita Cafe in New Tampa opening next week

La Cubanita Cafe plans to open on Monday, December 13, 2010.  The cafe is located in the New Tampa Center (BBD & New Tampa Blvd.) and will offer soups, salads, sandwiches, and Cuban entrees--boliche, ropa vieja, palomilla steak, etc..  The cafe will be open seven days a week, will provide catering and will serve breakfast starting at 7:00 AM.  Additional info:  Address:  19040 Bruce. B. Downs, Tampa, 33647; Phone:  813-632-9100.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Pasco Clerk of the Court/Comptroller to speak at December PACA meeting

Paula O'Neill, Pasco Clerk of the Court & Comptroller will speak at the December Pasco Alliance of Community Associations' meeting and provide an update on foreclosures, the foreclosure process in Pasco County and the online foreclosure program.   The meeting will be held on December 9, 2010 at the Land O Lakes Community Center at 7:00 PM.  The public is invited to attend.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fresh market at Wiregrass

The first "fresh market" at The Shops at Wiregrass, today from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Baked goods, honey, produce, pierogis, crafts; even massages and entertainment.  A fun new concept for Wesley Chapel, the fresh market is planned for the first Saturday of every month.

Light up the night--A Hanukkah celebration at Wiregrass this Sunday

Friday, December 03, 2010

Lexington Oaks market update

Four single family homes were reported sold by our MLS in the Wesley Chapel golf course community of Lexington Oaks in November.  Reported sold prices ranged from a low of $125,000 to a high of $317,000 and the sold prices per square foot (heated & cooled) had a large range from $64.00 to $95.25.  At this time Lexington Oaks has over 40 single family homes listed for sale.

Holiday tree lighting and festival

The Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual holiday tree lighting and festival on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at The Grove.  A visit from Santa and the Grinch are planned and the event will last from 4:00 to 7:30 PM.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December entertainment at The Shops at Wiregrass

The Shops at Wiregrass has a whole lot of entertainment scheduled for December including a Hanukkah celebration (December 5th), numerous performances by the New Tampa Dance Theater of The Nutcracker, a puppet show, a holiday glitz and glamour pageant, and a bunch of other performances. Here's the link to the calendar of events/performances for December.  After opening the link, click anywhere on the calendar to enlarge it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meeting on new Wesley Chapel school boundaries

The Pasco County School District will hold a meeting on November 30, 2010 at the Wesley Chapel High School regarding proposed new Wesley Chapel school boundaries under consideration to reduce the student populations of Wiregrass Ranch High School and John Long Middle School.  The meeting will be held at 6:30 PM.  Additional info.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Asian Buffet to open today.

A hand written sign at the entrance to the Asian Buffet--Sushi & Grill restaurant states that the restaurant will open on Saturday, November 27, 2010.  The new restaurant is located in the Shoppes of New Tampa at SR 56 & BBD.  No opening time or phone number was provided.  Note:  Phone number for the Asian Buffet is:  813-907-7688!

Home sales fall 16.9%

The number of home sales in the Tampa Bay area plummeted 16.9% from September to October this year and sales were down 25% from October 2009.  Nevertheless, 1,923 area homes sold this past October. 
  • In a "buyer's market", buyers all too often assume that they can take as long as they wish to make a decision on making an offer on a specific home. I always explain to buyers up front that homes on the market can go under contract at any given moment without notice and conceivably could even go under contract during the showing regardless of how long they have been on the market.  Yet they always seem astonished when they find out a home they delayed making an offer on has gone under contract with a different buyer.
  • Yes, even in this buyer's market, at times homes have multiple offers regardless of how long they have been on the market.
On another note, buyers seem less willing and interested in trying to go through the arduous short sale process than previously.  Often times they have been unsuccessful in previous short sale attempts or know others who had bad experiences.  REO/Foreclosures continue to be popular with buyers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jimmy John's opens in New Tampa

Jimmy John's, a gourmet sandwich shop recently opened in New Tampa and they deliver!  It's located between Cold Stone Creamery and Starbucks across from Liang's Bistro on BBD.  Physical address:  17521 Preserve Walk, Tampa, 33647.  Phone:  813.977.4201.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ice skating in Wesley Chapel begins today

The "ice" skating rink located between Prime Bar and Cantina Laredo at the Shops at Wiregrass opens today through January 2nd.  $8.00 includes skate rental for a 20 minute session.  Also, don't forget the kickoff of the Symphony in Lights show today starts at 6:00 PM with hourly shows through 9:00 PM.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wesley Chapel Athletic Association Lacrosse hosts tournament

This weekend the Wesley Chapel Athletic Association Lacrosse will host the Derek Pieper Memorial Cup, which is the largest lacrosse tournament in the Southeast. Upwards of 86 teams are anticipated to participate from all across the Southeastern United States. The tournament is also a qualifier for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions that also will be held at the Wesley Chapel District Park and Wesley Chapel High School fields from December 31st 2010 through January 2nd, 2011

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gingerbread Cottage opens at The Shoppes of New Tampa

The Gingerbread Cottage opened this week and it is conveniently located next to Publix at SR 56 & BBD in Wesley Chapel.  Wendy O'Neill explains that the shop is comprised of different local vendors.  (Think of it as a mini-mall of local vendors.)

There is a variety of vendors in the shop such as:

Inkcredible Adventures  --Lockets, chains, charms, bracelets, etc.
Shadow of Creations--Bible Covers, Raggedy Ann/Andy line.
The Pampered Chef--Kitchenware, Cookware, etc.
Potty Express--Disposable urinal
Wildlife Art by Terry Smith
Mary Kay
Premier Home Furniture--Collegiate/NFL furniture

So, stop by and see all that is offered and support our local businesses!  The store hours are M-S 10:00 to 9:00 PM & Sun from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM.  Wendy says that there still is limited space available for additional vendors.  She can be contacted at (813) 770-7876.

Adams named President & CEO of Wesley Chapel Medical Center

Adventist Health System announces that Brian Adams has been named President and CEO of Wesley Chapel Medical Center, Wesley Chapel, Florida. He currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Florida Hospital Altamonte, a 341-bed Adventist Health System (AHS) hospital in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Adams will oversee construction of the new Wesley Chapel medical center.

Crazy 8

Crazy 8 coming to The Shops at Wiregrass.

Florida legislature delays effective date of septic tank law

Yesterday the Florida legislature approved a six month delay in the controversial septic tank law that was to take effect on January 1, 2011.  That law would have required that homeowners with septic tanks pay for a septic tank inspection every five years at an estimated inspection cost of $500.00.  This law is intended to improve the water quality of natural springs and waterways and it's possible that the it will be repealed entirely next year. Additional info.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Speed limit changes for SR 56 & Mansfield Blvd. in Wesley Chapel

Wiregrass Ranch High School parents have expressed concerns over the safety of the intersection at SR 56 & Mansfield Blvd.  A traffic signal is planned for the SR 56 & Mansfield Blvd. intersection in Wesley Chapel but isn't expected to be operational until February of next year.  In today's Pasco County Board of County Commissioners meeting there are two speed limit revisions recommended for this intersection:

1.  Reduce speed limit on SR 56 in the area of Mansfield Blvd. from 55 to 50  miles per hour.
2.  Reduce speed limit on Mansfield Blvd. in the vicinity of SR 56 from 45 to 40 miles per hour.

A picture of Fido or Kitty with Santa

Once again we will have the opportunity to have a picture taken with Santa and our pet pooch or kitty.

Santa Paws At The Shops at Wiregrass:

Mondays from November 22 through December 20 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.  A portion of proceeds to benefit local animal charities.  They haven't published the price of the photo packages, so call ahead and inquire (813) 994-2242.

Santa Claws at Petsmart (New Tampa & Wesley Chapel locations included)

From 11:00 to 4:00 PM
December  5 &  6
December 12 & 13
December 19 & 20

$9.95 for a digital picture including frame.  $5.00 from every photo package benefits a local animal welfare organization.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pulte reports third quarter loss of almost $1 Billion

The Wall Street Journal reports that PulteGroup Inc's third quarter losses were almost $1 billion.  Not too many years ago Pulte had a wide presence in our area with homes constructed in local communities such as Meadow Pointe, Lexington Oaks, & Palm Cove.  Additionally, Pulte once was going to be the Master Builder for Wiregrass Ranch, and later pulled out when the housing market crashed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Shops at Wiregrass

It's no small task to put up these Christmas trees at The Shops at Wiregrass!  This week the mall is getting ready for the kickoff of its famous Symphony In Lights show on November 20th.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and several restaurant chains with local presence are offering a variety of freebies/ promos to veterans with ID.  (Click on provided links for details.)*

Outback:   Free bloomin' onion and beverage.

Applebee's  Free entree

Golden Corral:  10th annual Military Appreciation Dinner (Monday, November 15, 2010)

Chilis restaurants  Veterans eat free

Texas Roadhouse in Wesley Chapel (SR 56):  A manager at the Wesley Chapel location informed me that they will be opening at noon on Thursday and will give 30% off to military personnel in uniform and 10% off to veterans with military ID.  (This is not posted on the website and varies from location to location with Texas Roadhouse.)


Free Hugo Canes for veterans at Sam's Club on November 10th, 11th, & 12th (Limited supplies)

Buy two 1# bags of coffee at participating Dunkin Donuts and they will donate 1# of coffee to USO-- through November 14, 2010 with a goal of donating up to 100,000 pounds of coffee to US Military.

*It's best to call ahead to confirm that the specific location you plan to go to is participating in the promo.

You can send the following tribute to veterans to friends and family after viewing it by clicking on the: "Email this" button or e-mail the entire blog post by clicking on the envelope beneath the post.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Wesley Chapel Medical Center to break ground in December

The Wesley Chapel Medical Center to be built on Wiregrass Ranch property on BBD just north of the Shops at Wiregrass will break ground next month.  The December groundbreaking culminates years of efforts for the Wesley Chapel hospital.  The 80 bed, 200,000 square foot hospital is designed by Hunton Brady architects from Orlando and has a sleek modern design featuring an atrium and curved facade.  Construction should take almost 2 years, will employ approximately 450 people when completed, and has a reported estimated cost of $121 million.

Asian Buffet, Sushi & Grill seeks beer and wine permit

The Asian Buffet at The Shoppes of New Tampa (BBD & SR 56) has a hearing on November 16, 2010 at the Pasco County courthouse for permission to sell beer and wine.  No opening date for the Asian Buffet has been announced.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Martino to address PACA on fraud

Lee Martino, Association Services President for BB&T will address the Pasco Alliance of Community Associations on November 10, 2010.  Martino will review ways that association board members can monitor and check spending to detect and avoid fraud.  The Meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at the Land O Lakes Community Center (5401 Land O Lakes Blvd.) and the public is invited to attend.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

October home sales report for Grand Hampton in New Tampa

Ten single family homes were reported sold in our MLS in Grand Hampton last month.  The average sold price was $268,996 with prices ranging from $213,950 to $310,000.  Presently there are 19 single family homes reported under contract.  15 of those are short sales with two of those under contract since September/ October of last year and have not yet closed, presumably still waiting for an answer from the sellers' lender.*  One home under contract is a bank owned home.

Grand Hampton is a beautiful gated and guarded community in New Tampa with many resort style amenities.  Presently, there are around 40 single family homes listed for sale in Grand Hampton with list prices from $135,000 to $700,000.  Additional info:  813.505.7460

*Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Friday, November 05, 2010

Wesley Chapel roads workshop update

Last night's workshop on Wesley Chapel roads under construction was the third workshop conducted recently by county staff.  Here's the info presented:

SR 54

A 3.5 +/- mile road widening project from I-75 to Curley Road.  Project duration 21 months with completion in January 2012.  The first six months were dedicated to relocation of private utilities followed by 15 months of roadway and public utilities work.  This project has a $27 million construction cost.
  • Traffic will be shifted to the newly constructed roadway on December 12.  This has been accelerated by 5 months from the original schedule.
  • New roadway construction is 45% complete
  • Overall project is 45% complete in 35% of the time
  • Curley road is now open from SR 54
SR 54/I-75 Interchange

Project consists of widening overpass for 9 lanes--six through lanes and 3 turn lanes.  COMPLETE

BBD widening from County Line Road to SR 54

Project consists of widening the two lanes to six lanes
  • Project North of SR 56 is complete except for striping, etc.  Expect new roadway to open by Christmas
SR 56 Extension
  • Traffic signals to be installed at Mansfield and Meadow Pointe Blvd.
  • Mansfield traffic signal work to begin November 15
  • Meadow Pointe Blvd. signal work to begin after Thanksgiving
  • Poles to be delivered middle of December
  • Traffic signals operational in February 2011
In the meantime, additional temporary flashing signs are being placed to caution drivers to stop when traveling north on Mansfield and at the Meadow Pointe Blvd. intersection.

SR 56/BBD Intersection

The completion of this intersection was delayed due to TECO issues that are now resolved.  They are in the process of adjusting timing on these traffic signals.  When the intersection is completed the signals will be actuated by traffic cameras to provide better traffic flow.
  • Completion of this intersection is scheduled for February, 2011.
Updates were not provided on other road projects in the area such as New Boyette Rd. and the new I-75 and I-275 northbound exit ramps at SR 56.

Simulated Video of I-75 widening from Fowler to SR 52 including new off ramps for I-75 & I-275 at SR 56.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

October home sales for New Tampa (Zip code 33647)

A total of 67 single family homes were reported sold in New Tampa by our MLS last month.  Most of the homes sold were traditional sales and not distressed (short sales or REO/Bank owned)*.

*Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Fresh Market at The Shops at Wiregrass

The Shops at Wiregrass announces that a Fresh Market will be held at the Wesley Chapel mall on the first Saturday of every month. Fresh produce, flowers, plants, herbs, take home food, handicrafts, art and live music will be offered by local farmers and artisans. Hours will be from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  (Begins December 4, 2010)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

Symphony In Lights kickoff at The Shops at Wiregrass

The kickoff for the nightly Symphony In Lights show at The Shops at Wiregrass is scheduled for November 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm.  The show will be held every night thereafter (except Thanksgiving) through December 31, 2010 from 6:00-9:00 pm in Center Court.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The light rail option

Who isn't tired of sitting in traffic on Bruce B. Downs and I-75?  It's little wonder why Forbes ranked us dead last out of 60 metro areas for transportation (Forbes Magazine, 2/16/2010).  Light rail (and other improved transportation) is an option on next week's ballot in Hillsborough County. 

"Widening roads to cure traffic congestion is like curing obesity by loosening your belt."---Moving Hillsborough Forward

For additional information: Moving Hillsborough Forward

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club in Wesley Chapel to reopen

Back in 2007 there were plans to convert golf course land at the Quail Hollow Golf and Country Club in Wesley Chapel to residential property and build some 600 homes.  The housing market crashed and that plan never materialized and subsequently the golf and country club closed about two years ago. 

After some tough times, the Quail Hollow Golf and Country Club now has some encouraging news.  The golf course and country club are undergoing a major renovation with plans to reopen in two to three months with a full service restaurant.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Red Robin at Wiregrass to open in November

Attention burger eaters!  The new Red Robin restaurant at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel plans to open on November 15, 2010.  Website

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bay area home sales fall

The volume of home sales in the Tampa Bay fell 16% compared to a year ago and the median sales price for the bay area was $127,400.  This drop in sales occurred before the recent moratorium on foreclosures and the freeze on sales of many bank owned properties, suggesting that the decline in home sales over last year will continue.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wesley Chapel road construction workshop for the public

Pasco County has announced another road project update for Wesley Chapel.  The public workshop will mostly deal with the widening project of SR 54 from west of I-75 to east of Curley.  Remember, work on this segment of SR 54 is scheduled to continue until January, 2012.
Additional updates will be provided for C.R. 581 (BBD), S.R. 56, and I-75.  The workshop is scheduled for November 4, 2010 at the Atonement Lutheran Church (29617 S.R. 54, Wesley Chapel) from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, with a brief presentation at 6:00 PM.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Summertree Fall Festival in Wesley Chapel on October 23, 2010

The Summertree Fall Festival will be held in Wesley Chapel at the Summertree Plaza (Publix at SR 54 & Eiland Blvd.) on October 23, 2010:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Curley Rd. in Wesley Chapel to close tomorrow

Due to construction, Curley Rd. in Wesley Chapel will close from SR 54 to Wells Rd. from October 21st to November 5th.  Traffic will be detoured via Boyette and Wells.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slideshow of new homes for sale in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel

It's been a while since I have created a slide show of the new homes for sale in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area, so I took these photos this week.  The new homes in the slideshow are from 11 different New Tampa and Wesley Chapel communities and numerous new home builders. 

You will see some stunning kitchens, family rooms, and decor of model homes from starter homes for first time homebuyers to luxury homes. 

Oh, and sorry about that annoying advertisement that shows up at the bottom of the slideshow. I guess SLIDE needs to make money some way! (You can click on the X in the right corner to remove it, and observe the slideshow.)

Enjoy, and please give me a call if you are in the market for a home.  Also: From The Wall Street Journal: 10 Reasons To Buy A Home Now!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Looking for the Great Pumpkin?

Halloween is almost here and pumpkin patches are now popping up.  I stopped by two in Wesley Chapel this past week:

1.  State Road 54
(West of Eiland Blvd./Morris Bridge Rd.) 
Look for the tent!

2.  County Line Rd. in Meadow Pointe
(Just east of BBD at the First Baptist Church of New Tampa)

If you are aware of other pumpkin patches in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area, please feel free to add their locations in the comment section of this blog post.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dogtoberfest update

Here's an update from the folks in charge of Dogtoberfest to be held this Saturday.

Dogtoberfest is a pet friendly event on October 23, 2010 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. The event includes a pet costume contest, over $1000.00 in prizes, live music, pet adoptions, and pet related products. More than 40 pet rescue groups and pet vendors will be attending.

All pets registered* win and will be rewarded! Categories include:

1. Most original costume
2. Owner/Pet look alike
3. Cutest
4. Scariest
5. Most festive
6. Best use of recycled items
7. Best costume transforming pet into a different animal
8. Best celebrity look alike
9. People's Choice award based on the votes from the audience.

* Registration is from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Additional information:  Click Here

And here's a slideshow if you need some inspiration for Fido's costume:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

La Cubanita Cafe coming to New Tampa

Sign announcing La Cubanita Cafe coming to the New Tampa Center (next to McNatt's Cleaners) at 19040 Bruce B. Downs.