Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodwill retail store in Wesley Chapel opening this week

The new 25,000 sq. ft. Wesley Chapel Goodwill Superstore on Willow Oak Dr. (off of SR 56) has a February 6, 2010 Grand Opening date and will employ 45 people.  Goodwill provides both short and long term employment services to people with disabilities. In addition, the Wesley Chapel store will serve as Pasco County headquarters for Goodwill’s BookWorks, an early childhood literacy program. Store phone:  (813) 751-2047.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Restaurant openings at The Cypress in New Tampa

Hungry Howies at The Cypress in New Tampa (home to LA Fitness & Sweetbay) opened last week! (Phone:  813-907-6999).

Five Guys Burgers & Fries is planning on opening on February 17th and China Wok (Phone: 813-994-9929) plans to open in about a week.

I have no projected opening date or phone number for Pita's Republic at this time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

TOUSA auctions off remaining interests in Live Oak Preserve

The local newspapers reported this week that TOUSA auctioned off its Florida interests including those in Live Oak Preserve for $81 million to Starwood Land Ventures. (TOUSA has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization for the past couple of years.)  Some 5,500 lots were sold at bankruptcy auction statewide with over 1,000 in the Tampa Bay area.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Best Buy coming to New Tampa

Sign announcing Best Buy at The Walk in Highwoods Preserve:

This will be the second Best Buy in our area, with the other located at The Grove in Wesley Chapel.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Water treatment facility in Wesley Chapel

Construction on the new water treatment facility on Overpass Rd. in Wesley Chapel advances.  Based on reader comments on my previous blog post about the facility since last September, the project remains unpopular with nearby residents.

SpringHill Suites set to open in Tampa Palms in February

The new SpringHill Suites by Marriott, under construction on Primrose Lake Circle (across from the New Tampa Rec. Center) is set to open around February 22, 2010. General Manager Sarah Bates says the new hotel will have 127 suites and employ 19-25 employees. Sarah still has openings for: housekeepers, laundry attendants, a reception host, and part time desk agents. She requests that you e-mail her your resume at and requests that you do not call or show up on the site because it is still under construction.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New FHA guidelines for homebuyers

International Buffet coming to Wesley Chapel

On my way to a listing appointment in Wesley Chapel this afternoon I noticed some activity as I drove by the former Johnny Carinos on SR 54 which has been closed since 2007.  There were dumpsters outside and the front door was open.  So, afterwards I stopped by the restaurant and discovered that it is in the process of being remodeled inside!  Back in September I posted a photograph of the "Super Buffet" banners that appeared in front of Johnny Carinos and after a long period of no activity/additional info. I had pretty much given up on a buffet coming to the restaurant.  Today I was informed that they anticipate opening the International Buffet at the location in about 45 days!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Tampa Nature Park Update

You may recall plans for a nature park in New Tampa off of Dona Michelle Drive.  The 122 acre New Tampa Nature Park is adjacent to parcels owned by the water department & SWIFTMUD, effectively bringing the size of the planned park up to 232 acres.  The first phase of the park will consist of a 12 ft wide asphalt trail which will connect the park to Flatwoods Park, provide for an entrance drive, and parking for 24 cars and 2 buses.  Work will begin on the park once permitting is approved (within the next couple of months), with an estimate of four months for completion, so hopefully it will be open this summer!  (Information provided by the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blondies Cookies coming to The Shops at Wiregrass

Blondies Cookies, located next to JC Penney will be opening at The Shops at Wiregrass soon!  January 28, 2010 Update:  Planned opening is set for the first week of February, 2010!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pasco votes on Sportsplex USA project in Trinity & multiple use facility in Wesley Chapel

Well sports fans......Sportsplex USA informed the county that it had reconsidered its decision last month to withdraw from managing the proposed complex in Trinity and that it had found "common ground" to work with the county on the project.  Given this new information,  commissioners voted  4-1 for Sportsplex USA  to design and build a $11.5 million softball and baseball sports complex on county owned land in Trinity. County commissioners also voted to negotiate with Sportsplex USA to manage the facility.

Additionally, Commissioners  voted 5-0 to call for proposals to develop a multi-use athletics events center on Wesley Chapel acreage on the site previously designated for the (defunct)  Pasco National Tennis Center.  This site "could" be used for lacrosse tournaments and exhibition games by the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team.

Both sites would be funded with Pasco County tourist tax dollars.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tampa Bay Housing Starts For 2009 Down Again!

Tampa Bay housing starts for 2009 hit a low of 3,545 according to Metrostudy.  Most of the new home builders previously active in our area find themselves in bankruptcy or have left the market. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tennis Stadium? Sportsplex Complex? Lacrosse Fields? What's behind door number 4?

Let's Make A Deal...  For years now Pasco County has been trying to make a decision on what to do with its Pasco tourist tax dollars to generate "heads in beds" for Pasco County.  County commissioners seem convinced that a sports venue is the answer, but can't seem to "make a deal".  For years a deal with Saddlebrook Resort over a Pasco National Tennis Center to be located in Wesley Chapel seemed just around the corner.  It crashed and burned in May of 2009 and the Pasco Board of County Commissioners went in another direction, ultimately zeroing in a Sportsplex USA project.  The Sportsplex USA project appeared to "crash and burn" about two weeks ago, and in the past week a new proposal has been made by Saddlebrook Resort for lacrosse fields in Wesley Chapel.  Huh?

Editor, C.T. Bowden of the St. Pete Times today offers us an Opinion piece on this and it is worth the read.  St. Pete Times Opinion Piece Link

Friday, January 08, 2010

Work advances on new facility for Meadow Pointe I

Work on the new Meadow Pointe I facility in Wesley Chapel started at the end of October and has an estimated March, 2010 completion date.  The new building will house a new 800 square ft. fitness center, clubhouse, meeting/party room, office, and an indoor raquetball court.  The facility is located at the site of the former raquetball courts and has an estimated cost of $500,000.  Additional info: .

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pulte Homes pulls out of Wiregrass

Years ago and in a much better residential real estate market, this sign announced the first of homes to be built in Wiregrass Ranch with "coming soon".  Well partners, James Thorner, real estate expert for the St. Pete Times reports that Pulte Homes sold off its 800 acres in Wiregrass Ranch to developer Bob Sierra at the end of December.  Thorner reports that Pulte paid $12.8 million for the 800 acres in 2004 with plans to build 2,000 homes in the massive planned 5,000 acre community of Wiregrass.  No homes were built on the land and Pulte reportedly sold it for $5 million.  No information was provided on when and if Sierra may choose to start development of this ranch land.

Suncoast Arts Fest to be held at Wiregrass in January

The Suncoast Arts Fest will be held at The Shops at Wiregrass again this year on January 23rd and 24th.  The fifth annual festival will have fine artists and craftsmen, food, and live entertainment. Surely by then this miserable cold front will be long gone, so mark your calendars!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Meadow Pointe December real estate update

Seventeen single family detached homes were reported sold in Meadow Pointe in Wesley Chapel in December.  Reported sold prices ranged from a low of $105,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Short Sale home built in 1996 (with 277 days to closed), to $340,000 for a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 3 car garage,  pool home on conservation (with 37 days to closed).

Additionally, there are about 62 single family homes showing "pending" (under contract).  50 of those are SHORT SALES or pre-foreclosures waiting to close.  A few of these short sale Meadow Pointe homes under contract have been under contract since March and April and have not closed and one "approved short sale" went under contract in July and still has not closed!  Remember, "short sale" does not mean that it is a short period of time to close!

Lastly, there are over 40 single family Meadow Pointe homes for sale.

Commissioner Cox to address PACA

Pasco County Commissioner Michael Cox will discuss the county's 2010 Strategic Plan at the January PACA meeting.  The January meeting of the Pasco Alliance Of Community Associations will be held on January 14, 2010 at at 7 p.m. at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center located at 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. (US 41), three miles north of SR 54.   Additional info:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Red Robin Restaurant at The Shops at Wiregrass

Public hearings will be held for a permit for the on premise consumption of beer, wine, and liquor for a Red Robin Restaurant at The Shops at Wiregrass. Hearing dates: Pasco County Planning Commission: January 13, 2010, Board of County Commissioners: February 9, 2010. (Thanks to Dave who reads this blog for pointing out this posted sign located on an out parcel between Primebar and Barnes and Noble at Wiregrass!)