Thursday, September 30, 2010

Red Robin at Wiregrass

I also hear that the Red Robin at The Shops at Wiregrass is targeting the end of October or November for an opening date.  Can't wait until then for one of their burgers?  Then head over to Citrus Park for the recently opened Red Robin.

Real Estate Agent in top ten most stressful jobs

Careercast lists the job of  real estate agent as one of the top ten most stressful jobs in 2010.  No surprise here!  Here's the link to see the other most stressful jobs

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Asian Buffet in Wesley Chapel

The Asian Buffet at The Shoppes at New Tampa (BBD & SR 56) is still under construction with work being done on wall partitions, flooring, and electrical. 

Target opening date:  2 months!

Tampa makes top 10 list

US News & World Report lists Tampa in the top ten cities of the US where you can buy a retirement home for less than $600.00 per month.*  Full article

*Thanks to blog reader Jorge for pointing this article out to me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bus driver, Move that bus!

Do you know someone in Tampa Bay whose home deserves an Extreme Makeover? If so, the producers of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition want to hear from you!

What does it take to be picked for an Extreme Makeover?  They are looking for true deserving families - people who have amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others, i.e. a mom, a soldier, a teacher, a policeman, or a fireman.

In addition, the producers are looking for families whose houses need major alterations or repair- homes that present serious problems for the family and affect the family's quality of life.

This season Extreme Makeover also is looking for families, who do not own their own homes, so long as land is available through other sources, a nonprofit, city or county. A family must also be able to show producers how a makeover will make a huge difference in their lives.

Interested families or those who wish to nominate another family should e-mail a short description of their family story to –

Nominations/submissions must include:

1. The names and ages of each member of the household
2. A description of the major challenges within the home.
3. Explanation of why this family is deserving, or a positive role model in their community.
4. Photos of the family and a photo of the home
5. Please include the address and contact phone number for the family.

The deadline for nominations is October 17, 2010. Send story submissions as soon as possible. For more information on how to apply visit the website at:

900 Degrees Woodfired Pizza coming to Wesley Chapel

Sign hanging at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel announcing:  900 Degrees Woodfired Pizza coming to the mall (across from Cosi).  Website

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Tampa could get Light Rail. How's it working elsewhere?

Light rail could be coming to New Tampa.  Last week the Tampa Chamber of Commerce was in Phoenix assessing their recently built light rail system.

Seven Oaks

Seven Oaks in Wesley Chapel, another beautifully landscaped community.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Arts and Crafts Under The Palms scheduled for October 16 & 17, 2010 at City Plaza

The annual Arts and Crafts Under the Palms show sponsored by the Tampa Palms Women's Club is scheduled for October 16th & 17th at the recently renovated City Plaza shopping center.  The event will be held from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Additional info:  Stella Hardman, Applications Chairman, Tampa Palms Women's Club, (813) 977-2261 or e-mail: .

After going to the Tampa Palms arts and crafts show, you might want to go to the Wesley Chapel Fall Festival and visit a neighboring arts and crafts show that is being held on the same dates at the Grove in Wesley Chapel.

Friday, September 24, 2010

GMAC Mortgage places moratorium on foreclosures

No, Christmas hasn't arrived early this year and GMAC Mortgage is not trying to be kinder and gentler.  Various media outlets report that GMAC Mortgage, one of the nation's largest home lenders has placed a moratorium on foreclosures in some 23 states (including Florida).  GMAC apparently has provided no formal explanation for the moratorium, but the New York Times writes:  "its actions suggest that it is concerned about potential liability in evicting families and selling houses to which it does not have clear title".  Concerned?  I would hope so.   Ha!  And what about those homes they already have foreclosed on? 

This moratorium could last until the end of this year and only time will tell if its past actions could prove to be very costly.  Link to NYT article  (After opening link, if ad pops up click on "Skip this ad" to read article.

The foreclosure debacle seems to have no end.  Hillsborough County has 33,000 pending foreclosures with new ones added on a daily basis.  Now, three congressmen have inquired why Fannie Mae is using law firms "that are accused of regularly engaging in fraud to kick people out of their homes".  More on foreclosures

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Technology Petting Zoo this Saturday in New Tampa

Intrigued by new gadgets such as the latest smart phones, computers, and cameras and want the opportunity to "play" with them?  
A technology "petting zoo" will be held at the New Tampa Library on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Location:  10001 Cross Creek Blvd., in New Tampa.  Additional info:  (813) 273-3652.

If technology is not your thing, why not visit one of our local museums on Saturday offering free admission on Museum Day?  For a list of participating local museums and to print a required ticket:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Tampa / Wesley Chapel Mobility Forum

Info displays, handouts, and Q & A before meeting began.
New Tampa and Wesley Chapel residents turned out for the mobility forum at Wharton High School this evening.  Before the meeting,  displays and handouts were available and local reps answered questions. 

Meanwhile, members of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce are in Phoenix, Arizona this week checking out their light rail system:

And here's a blog I recently discovered that is dedicated exclusively to light rail in Tampa:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An act of congress may be required to get banks to respond timely to short sale offers

We all know how all too often banks can take ridiculously long periods of time to respond to Short Sale purchase contracts.  One congressman is trying to change that with an "act of congress"!  Rep. Robert Andrews of New Jersey has introduced a bill to require lenders to respond to short sale offers wtihin 45 days.  The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services on September 15th.  I am not sure which is worse--getting an act of congress passed or getting timely answers from lenders on short sales!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Green Building Expo to be held in Wesley Chapel

The Tampa Bay Builders Association will hold the 2nd annual Green Building Expo on Saturday, September 25th, at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Red Light Cameras

Red light cameras have become very popular income producers for local governments and occasionally I am asked about where these cameras are located in our area.  As far as I know the closest one to our area is located at Bruce B. Downs and Fletcher. Here's a map (created by Fox 13) of known red light cameras in Tampa Bay. (Click on the blue link below the map for an itemized listing by intersection.)

View Tampa Bay red light cameras in a larger map

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mobility Forum & Town Hall scheduled for next week at Wharton High School

Present day Bruce B. Downs

Possible future Bruce B. Downs
 Frustrated over long commutes? Wonder what the plans are to reduce them?  Dream of using light rail to get to downtown and not fighting traffic?  Then you should attend this forum.

Jack Harris, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe, and Commissioners Ann Hildebrand & Pat Mulieri from Pasco County will be hosting a mobility forum/town hall on September 22, 2010 at Wharton High School (20150 Bruce. B. Downs) in New Tampa.  Briefings will be presented on Hillsborough & Pasco County Transpor- tation Plans, and HART & TBARTA Rail & Rapid Bus Plans. 

Transportation improvements are scheduled for Bruce B Downs Boulevard, Cross Creek Boulevard, SR 54,SR 56, I-275, I-75 and more. These improvements include roads, rail, bus, bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The Hillsborough County MPO, Pasco County MPO, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, City of Tampa, Planning Commission, TBARTA, PCPT, HART and the Florida Department of Trans- portation want to hear what you think about the future of transportation in your area.

Info displays will be available at 5:30 PM and the Town Hall starts at 6:30 PM.  Additional info:  (813) 273-3774, Ext. 342  or

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One year later, a new fire station for New Tampa remains a "field of dreams"

You may recall that about a year ago it was announced that Tampa was going to build a new 8660 sq. ft. fire station (#22) on Cross Creek Blvd. next to the Cross Creek Plaza in New Tampa.  An application was made and approved for funds via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to pay for the project on already purchased land.  Reports in the local papers at that time indicated that groundbreaking would likely occur before the end of 2009 and completion in less than a year.

So, one year later, why is the parcel of land where the new fire station is to be built still "a field of dreams"?  Here's the explanation from Captain Wade, spokesman of Tampa Fire Rescue:: 

"Tampa Fire Rescue applied for and was awarded a federal grant to build the station. The federal grant required some additional Environmental Protection Agency and other reviews. The length of time it will take for these federal agencies to complete their work is beyond our control. I can tell you we call their offices about twice a month inquiring about the monies and trying to determine when the monies will become available."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dogtoberfest returns to The Shops at Wiregrass


This year Dogtoberfest will be held at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel on October 23, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; main street will be closed off to vehicles and admission is free.

There will be pet costume contests with multiple fun categories* such as:

  • Most original costume
  • Owner/Pet look a like
  • Cutest
  • Scariest
  • Most festive
  • Best use of recycled items
  • Best costume transforming pet into a different animal
  • Best celebrity look-a-like
So start planning Fido's costume now!  Every pet will get a pet gelato from 365 and a medal, and there should be at least 15 rescue groups in attendance. Live music will be provided by the John Nunes band and there will be a vet doing low cost micro-chipping.
The purpose of the event is to support all charities striving to promote pet adoption and proper care of animals. Vendors are also invited to rent space to display and sell pet care products or educational materials. Please contact for more information or call 813-657-7078. 

So dress the pooch in a costume on the 23rd of October &
Have a Yappy Howl-o-ween at Dogtoberfest!

*Official categories for contests have not been confirmed at this time.

October 20, 2010:  Click here for a more recent Dogtoberfest Update

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meadow Pointe Homes For Sale

There are about 70 single family homes listed for sale in Meadow Pointe in our local MLS.  List prices on the homes range from $99,000 for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home to $329,999 for a four bedroom, 3 bathroom home with fireplace and three car garage.  About 50 % of these Meadow Pointe single family homes listed for sale in our MLS are Short Sales (pre-foreclosures) and about 8% are bank owned (REO's). 

Monday, September 13, 2010

3 T's Pizza opens in Wesley Chapel

3 T's pizza in Wesley Chapel opened this past week.  The new restaurant opened at 3757 Bruce B. Downs in Wesley Chapel in the small shopping center near Seven Oaks where Dunkin' Donuts is located.  Phone: (813) 428-5935.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday morning with hot air balloons in Wesley Chapel

We love seeing those beautiful hot air balloons in the skies over Wesley Chapel on the weekends.  I saw two land in a field near Seven Oaks, one alongside BBD, and one alongside SR 56 just east of The Shops at Wiregrass this morning.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wesley Chapel Fall Festival will be held in October

The Wesley Chapel Fall Festival will be held on October 16 & 17,  2010 at the Grove mall.  Formerly called the Wesley Chapel Crafts Show, in addition to the arts and crafts, the festival will feature the Ronnie Setser Custom Car Show, Wesley Chapel  Battle of Wings Contest, children's activities, and live entertainment. 

The entertainment begins at noon on Saturday, continues on Sunday and will include:  Greenlight Iguana, The Loopers, Bryan Edwards, Ferengata, The Bucket List, Harold Jones, Nunes at Night, & 10th Concession.

Artists, craftsmen, food vendors, etc. should contact the  Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce  (813-994-8534) for applications and additional information.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pasco County Commissioners approve changes to Wiregrass Ranch plans

The proposed changes to the 5,000 acre Wiregrass Ranch development in Wesley Chapel were approved by Pasco County Commissioners this afternoon.  The plans now include:

Short Sale delays and frustration

Sellers, buyers, and real estate agents of Short Sale homes (pre-foreclosure homes) continue to experience a high degree of frustration with banks.  Sellers' lenders continue to be unresponsive and typically take months to respond to an offer to purchase contract.  More often than not, Short Sale buyers get fed up waiting for an answer from the sellers' bank and end up walking away from the deal when they have the out to do so contract- ually.  Here's a link from an article in the Times Herald-Record this week depicting this exasperating process which many buyers are finding not worth the hassle. 

Additionally, the continuing frustration with sellers' lenders being unresponsive has prompted more than one video by real estate agents:

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday morning stroll

Attorney Mezer to address September PACA on protecting financial interests of the community

Members and guests of the Pasco Alliance of Community Associations will hear several ideas on Sept. 9, 2010 on how to protect their communities’ financial interests during the current economic hard times.

An attorney, community association expert Steve Mezer will offer his suggestions on how community associations can protect their financial interests during tough economic time, including how to collect unpaid dues owed to community associations. His presentation will also cover property foreclosures and auctions, as well as how tax certificate sales ensure that community development districts collect the fees landowners owe them.

The meeting is open to the public as well as to PACA members and begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, located at 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. (US 41), three miles north of SR 54.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Bridgewater HOA takes charge and tackles difficult issues

Bridgewater is a Wesley Chapel community that certainly has faced some difficult times since the housing market crashed.  With a very high percentage of owners who were investors, it suddenly was confronted with a flood of distressed properties (Short Sales & Foreclosures) in the 760 home community.  We all know that not only do distressed properties affect market value because of the lower sales prices, typically they also are not maintained causing further market value erosion within a community.  These issues along with sometimes years of unpaid HOA fees by owners, forced the Bridgewater Homeowners Association to get tough to regain some control of its community.  Can you blame the association?

In today's Tampa Tribune there is an article about how some homebuyers in Bridgewater are finding out that there are additional fees that must be paid at closing for transfer fees and also to satisfy liens placed against such properties by the homeowners association, etc.  Here's the link to the full article in today's paper.

This is not an HOA solely dealing with financial issues.  Bridgewater has made other efforts to turn around the image of the community, such as marketing the community and holding the annual Bridgewater Fall Festival (which is planned for October 23, 2010 this year) at the Bridgewater Community Park.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Massage for the cure on September 14, 2010

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010, Massage Envy will team up with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help the fight against breast cancer by hosting Massage For The Cure.

During this national one-day event, Massage Envy at 1821 Bruce B. Downs, Wesley Chapel, joins Massage Envy centers throughout the Tampa Bay Area to offer $49 one-hour therapeutic massage sessions, with $15 from each massage donated directly to the Florida Suncoast affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The event is open to the public, requires an appointment and all proceeds from Massage for the Cure support breast cancer education, screening and treatment initiatives in communities across the U.S.

Appointments for Massage for the Cure can be made by contacting our local Wesley Chapel Massage Envy center at 813-948-5600.  Hours are weekdays 8 am to 10 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 8 pm and Sundays 10 am to 8 pm.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Cory Lake Isles market update

Cory Lake Isles is one of the few fully gated and guarded New Tampa communities. Last month a total of 9 single family homes in Cory Lake Isles were reported sold by our local MLS. Sold prices ranged from $177,000 to $500,000 and the actual reported sold prices per square foot (heated & cooled) ranged from $77.11 to $159.95.*

Currently single family homes listed for sale in Cory Lake Isles range from $185,000 to $2,950,000.

*Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.