Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Asian restaurants opening in Wesley Chapel in 2013

There are two new asian restaurants that will open in Wesley Chapel in 2013:

Kwan Ming Bistro, featuring Hong Kong cuisine is planning to open within the next week or so and is located at 27607 SR 56 next to Happy Feet at Seven Oaks.

 Facebook page  Website  Phone:  813.994.2328
Kwan Ming Bistro in Wesley Chapel

Fine Thai Express is located at 27427 CR 54 in Wesley Chapel.  I don't have a projected opening date at this time.

Fine Thai Express in Wesley Chapel

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 Holiday Pet Video

At a time when we all can use some distractions, here's a holiday pet video:

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!

Porter Campus at Wiregrass

Porter Campus at Wiregrass  (Pasco-Hernando Community College)
Construction of the new Porter Campus at Wiregrass, Pasco-Hernando Community College campus continues.  The new campus is expected to open in 2014.

Previous blog post about the new campus.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Tips for selling your home during the holidays

When it comes to holiday decorations, less is more when selling a home.  If you normally are the neighborhood King of decorations, you should tone it down while your home is on the market. 

1.  Keep outdoor decorations simple and tasteful.  If your home looks like Griswold decorated it, buyers may have a tough time actually seeing the home you are trying to sell.  Also remember, if your house goes under contract in December, you will have to pack up all those decorations in addition to the contents of your home before moving!

2.  Indoor decorations should be simple and tasteful too.  If you put up trees, be sure that you are not blocking the normal traffic flow.

3.  Holiday scents can help put people in a festive and cheery mood.  Just keep them subtle.  Remember, there are plenty of people with allergies.

4.  Soft music generally is recommended for showings.  You might want to shy away from overly religious songs and save those for when the home isn't being shown.

5.  Photos marketing your home with holiday decor should be removed no later than the first week of January.  I just love seeing "This home won't last long on the market" on homes in MLS in July, with a Christmas tree in the living room photos!

Lastly, it's a nice touch to put out a plate of cookies when you have showing appointments, with a note for buyers to help themselves!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

November Wesley Chapel home sales soar

November single family home sales in Wesley Chapel were up in virtually all categories from a year ago*.
  • The volume of single family homes sales was up 50%.
  • The average reported sales price was 33% higher than a year ago.
  • "Normal" home sales made up 61% of the total compared to only 45% last November which means the "depressed" home sales (pre-foreclosures/Short Sales & Foreclosures) were down significantly.
There are presently less than 200 single family homes listed for sale in our local MLS and 75% of those are not depressed listings!

*Information/data provided by our local MLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Suncoast Arts Fest 2012 returns to Wesley Chapel in January

The 8th annual Suncoast Arts Fest returns to The Shops at Wiregrass on January 19th and 20th with an estimated 145 fine artists and craftsmen showing their works. The chalk artists will be back! See the video from last year's event:

Sunday, December 02, 2012

5 Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Michael Estrin has identified 5 common errors homebuyers make:

1.  Always looking for a better deal

2.  Lowballing instead of negotiating realistically

3.  Overpaying for perfection

4.  Equating "Short Sale" with "Deal"

5.  Falling in love at first sight

Link to full article by Estrin

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Custom Victorian Executive Home For Sale in Wesley Chapel

This unique CUSTOM built VICTORIAN SHOW-STOPPER features a WRAPAROUND FRONT PORCH & HEATED POOL. Located on an oversized tranquil conservation lot on a cul-de-sac in a GATED community, this 3,550 sq. ft. home has 4 bedrooms & 4 bathrooms + BONUS ROOM & is filled with decorator features. The front door opens into an impressive two story foyer with spindle stair case & gorgeous HARDWOOD FLOORS. The formal living room has POCKET FRENCH DOORS into the STUDY. The elegant formal dining room features a TRAY CEILING & double French doors open into a SUNROOM. A CLAW FOOT BATHTUB is the feature of the downstairs bathroom! The sunny spacious kitchen has an enormous island, built in desk, walk in pantry, & a wall oven. It opens up to the bright & cheery FAMILY ROOM lined with energy efficient windows, built in book shelves & niches, a WOOD BURNING FIREPLACE & double FRENCH DOORS opening to the back VERANDAH overlooking the heated POOL & conservation area. Perfect for entertaining! The huge master suite, with huge walk in closet has a sitting area and a 2012 RENOVATED MASTER BATHROOM with double vanity, GRANITE countertop, TRAVERTINE flooring & jetted tub with separate shower. Wow! The home has a 3 car garage & is located only minutes away from I-75, shopping malls and the new hospital in Wesley Chapel. If you are tired of looking at boring cookie-cutter houses & want to live in a truly one of a kind home, CALL TODAY for a showing appointment for this very special EXECUTIVE charmer, offered at $439,000! (No CDD fees & not a short sale!) Russ Perlowski, People's Choice Realty 813.505.7460

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kinnan / Mansfield connection update

Mansfield Blvd. at the county line
The Tampa Tribune reports that representatives from Tampa and Pasco County met last week to discuss Tampa's request to open Kinnan Street to Mansfield Blvd. in Wesley Chapel.  Tampa has renewed interest in its opening because the K-Bar Ranch development wants to gear up for hundreds of more lots.  Pasco on the other hand, has concerns over the volume of traffic on the two lane Mansfield Blvd., particularly at Wrencrest and Beardsley. 

From the Trib:

David Goldstein, Pasco's chief assistant county attorney, said Pasco commissioners are willing to open the road, but they have demands.

"We need to be sure there are adequate safeguards," he said. "The issue is once it's open, if we need traffic calming on Mansfield, who's going to pay for that? Because we don't think we should have to."

Those improvements could include traffic circles or signals at two key intersections, at a cost of up to $500,000. He said either the city of Tampa or K-Bar developers should pay for the improvements because the bulk of the traffic would be Hillsborough residents driving north to get to Wiregrass — with its shopping mall, hospital and community college — or to the S.R. 56 interchange.

"If they don't want to meet our demands, we'll leave it barricaded," Goldstein said.

An additional New Tampa connection to Pasco's Meadow Pointe Blvd.which also currently dead ends at the county line, was mentioned and it is possible that a K-Bar connection could happen within three years.

See previous blog post regarding this topic

Monday, November 12, 2012

Home sales and prices up!

Tampa Bay home prices are up and inventories are tight!

Home sales in October soared 35 percent over a year ago and median sales prices increased 9 percent and bay area homes are selling quicker, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Additionally, the Times reports that "across the state, Florida Realtors data shows year-over-year prices have climbed every month this year".
*Information reported in MLS deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day

Also, see the following link for "freebies" for veterans at participating restaurants.  LINK

Saturday, November 10, 2012

2012 Symphony In Lights at Wiregrass

Symphony in lights
The 2012 debut of Symphony In Lights at Wiregrass will be held on November 17th starting at 5:00 PM. The annual debut of the holiday light show is choreographed to music featuring Trans-Siberian Orchestra and this year features a live performance by the Late Night Brass Band, a 10-piece horn band, strolling carolers and Santa.. The 55' tree will be trimmed top with over 250,000 lights, 47 miles of wire, 2,000 watts of sound, and 10 tons of holiday decor.  If you can't make it for the season debut, there will be nightly shows on the hour until December 31st beginning at 6:00 PM. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Fresh market today at Wiregrass

Fresh market at The Shops at Wiregrass
The fresh market at Wiregrass will be held today from 10:00 to 3:00.  Remember, in November, December, and January the market will only be held on the first Saturday of each month.

Firehouse Subs opening in Wesley Chapel

Firehouse Subs in Wesley Chapel
Firehouse Subs plans to open on or about November 19, 2012 in The Shoppes at New Tampa in Wesley Chapel.  (Publix shopping center at SR 56 & BBD)

Friday, November 02, 2012

New Tampa's Road to Nowhere on Pasco's Agenda

For years the connection of New Tampa's Kinnan St. to Wesley Chapel's Mansfield Blvd. (in the heart of Meadow Pointe) has been opposed by Pasco representatives, giving it the Road to Nowhere name.  (See my blog post written back in 2006.) 

Now it looks like that may change as it is an item on the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners' Agenda on November 7.

If the connection is allowed, it will give New Tampa residents, particularly those in Easton Park, Cory Lake Isles, Heritage Isles, and Arbor Greene quicker access to The Shops at Wiregrass and I-75, allowing them to avoid BBD.  

Short Sale home purchases easily derailed

All real estate agents and most home buyers who have tried to purchase a Short Sale/Pre-foreclosure home are well aware of the difficulties in successfully purchasing a SHORT SALE property.

Here's a great newspaper article listing the pitfalls of the short sale buying process:  LINK

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2,000 oak trees in Seven Oaks to get the axe

Seven Oaks
Shannon Behnken of The Tampa Tribune reports that the beautiful community of Seven Oaks in Wesley Chapel will remove 2,000 street trees planted years ago by the developer.  Seven Oaks, like many other communities has discovered that the planted oaks cause expensive damage to sidewalks and roads. After removal, the trees will be replaced with more appropriate ones, more friendly to sidewalks and roads.

This subject has been a previous discussion with the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners too and more recently, over 100 trees in Ybor City were removed for similar reasons and not without controversy. Plans there were to replace the trees with crape myrtles, olive and/or palm trees.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Overpass Road workshop announced for November

A workshop on the proposed Overpass Road project has been announced for November 29, 2012 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM at the Victorious Life Church, 6224 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel.

Overpass Road is currently a two-lane facility that extends from Old Pasco Road to 0.86 miles east of Boyette Road. Pasco County proposes to widen this portion from two lanes to a minimum of four lanes.  From Boyette Road to US 301, the roadway will be on new alignment and is proposed to be constructed as a minimum four-lane facility.

This proposed roadway capacity improvement project in Pasco County involves the addition of an interchange at the current flyover of Overpass Road and I-75; the extension of Overpass Road on new alignment from its current terminus located approximately 0.86 miles east of Boyette Road to US 301; and the widening of the existing segment of Overpass Road (from Old Pasco Road to east of Boyette Road). It is anticipated that Overpass Road and the proposed extension will be constructed at a minimum as a four-lane divided facility, with the potential to expand the roadway to a six-lane divided facility, if needed. The total project length is approximately 9.0 miles; the study corridor is shown on the project location map.

Project website link

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A fun time at Dogtoberfest 2012 at Wiregrass

Dogtoberfest 2012 at The Shops at Wiregrass was lots of fun and it had a huge turnout.  A Yappy Howl-O-Ween to all!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

50 bed psychiatric and substance abuse hospital for Wesley Chapel

Back in 2008 The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration approved Ten Broeck Tampa Inc.'s certificate-of-need application for a freestanding, $15.7 million adult psychiatric and substance abuse hospital in the Wesley Chapel area of Pasco County.

This week a preliminary/construction site plan and stormwater management plan for Ten Broeck Wesley Chapel for United Medical Corporation, was presented for review to the Pasco County Development Review Committee, with a location on the south side of SR 56, approximately 1,600 feet east of Manfield Blvd.  The developer of Ten Broeck Wesley Chapel is requesting approval of a one story, 40,502 sq. ft. 50 bed hospital.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dogtoberfest 2012 at Wiregrass tomorrow

Don't forget Dogtoberfest, a truly fun event will be held for the fourth year at The Shops at Wiregrass tomorrow from 10:00 to 3:00.  The event will have live music,  a doggie costume contest, doggie obstacle course, and on site pet adoptions from various Tampa Bay area rescue organizations.  It looks like the actual awards presentation for the pet costume contest will occur around 1:30 and the Grand Parade at 2:00.  Yappy Howl-O-ween!  Costume contest link

$30 million, 1/2 billion gallon reservoir slated for Wesley Chapel

An item of interest (R17) on the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners' Agenda this week:  Request for Statements of Qualifications for vendors/contractors for the Boyette Reservoir project in Wesley Chapel.  (According to statements in the meeting, the design and permitting is complete.)

The Boyette Reservoir is a planned 500 million gallon reclaimed water reservoir with an estimated cost of $30 million and is located in the N/E quadrant of Boyette & Overpass Rd.  (north of Palm Cove).  Construction is slated to begin in February/March of 2013 with a completion in 2015.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

HomeGoods Grand Opening in New Tampa today

HomeGoods in New Tampa
HomeGoods in New Tampa has its Grand Opening today from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Address:  18061 Highwoods Preserve, Tampa, FL.  Phone:  813.977.3172

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wiregrass fresh market today

The fresh market at Wiregrass will be held today from 10:00 to 3:00.  Remember in November, December and January the fresh market will only be held on the first Saturday of each month instead of the first AND third Saturdays.

Arts and Crafts Under The Palms

Don't forget Arts and Crafts Under The Palms today and tomorrow at Market Square in New Tampa.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chapel Crossings: more growth for Wesley Chapel

Chapel Crossings in Wesley Chapel
In today's Tampa Tribune, Laura Kinsler reports that Thornwood Associates, a subsidiary of Crown (developer of Seven Oaks and Watergrass) has applied to rezone 375 acres on SR 54 just east of Curley Road.  The project will include nearly a million sq. ft. of retail and office space and up to 2,000 apartments or town homes.

Kinsler further reports that the developer would be required to build the first two segments of the Zephyrhills bypass extension and that most of the commercial/office development would be along the Zephyrhills bypass and on the new segment of Meadow Pointe Blvd. to be built north of SR 54 to connect to the project.

Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel is lit up pink for the month of October. Additionally, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Pasco, FL Walk on Saturday, October 20, 2012 will begin at 9:00 AM at The Shops at Wiregrass and include a walk around the hospital.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tampa is 7th most searched city in US for home search

Tampa ranks as the seventh in the US for home searches in September according to  Additionally, they report the following data about Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater.  List prices are up, inventory is down, and homes are on the market for less time:

Median List Price = $149,900
Change from a year ago = + 7.07 %
Total listings = 16,407, down 21.85% from a year ago
Median age of inventory on the market = 83 days, down 27.82 % from a year ago

Top 10 US cities for home search:

1.  Chicago, IL
2.  Detroit, MI
3.  Philadelphia, PA
4.  Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
5.  Atlanta, GA
6.  Dallas, TX
7.  Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater
8.  Boston, MA
9.  Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
10.  Orlando, FL

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ciao! Italian Bistro opens tomorrow

Ciao Italian Bistro
The Pagelli's sign is down and Ciao! Italian Bistro's is up!  The new restaurant at The Shops at Wiregrass plans an October 15th opening.  Link

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Brookstone now open at Wiregrass

Brookstone at The Shops at Wiregrass
Brookstone is now open at the Shops at Wiregrass across from Macy's near the kiddie village.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Patch in Wesley Chapel

Pumpkin Patch in Wesley Chapel

This pumpkin patch in Wesley Chapel is located on SR 54 about 1/2 mile west of Home Depot.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Old Navy in Wesley Chapel opens tonight

Old Navy in Wesley Chapel
The new Old Navy store at The Grove in Wesley Chapel opens tonight at 6:00 PM.  Look for grand opening specials this weekend.  Phone:  813.991.4798

Ciao Italian Bistro and Panera Bread hiring at Wiregrass

Ciao Italian Bistro plans to open the middle of October at The Shops at Wiregrass in the former Pagelli's location.  The new Wesley Chapel bistro is advertising for help on Craig's List:

Panera Bread, under construction on SR 56 at The Shops at Wiregrass has a hiring event planned for October 19th from 10:00 to 5:00 PM

Hiring for Customer Service Staff for NEW PANERA BREAD CAFE:

28211 Paseo Drive
Suite 100
Wesley Chapel, 33543
Wiregrass Management Office  (Note this is on the "parking lot side of the mall between Macy's and JC. Penney)

If Amendment 4 on November ballot passes, it could result in higher property taxes for you

Amendment 4 on the November ballot broadens the homestead exemption to include second homes and investment properties, and is likely to move a greater share of the property tax burden into the laps of Florida's existing homeowners.  

The Florida Association of Counties estimates that if passed, Amendment 4 will have a $1.7 billion impact on local communities in Florida.  (Everyone loves the theory of property tax reductions until the reality sets in that a reduction in taxes for others could mean an increase for them.)

The association has provided estimates of the property tax impact on counties in Florida if Amendment 4 passes. 

For example, Pasco County could have an impact of:

$1.3 million in 2013
$2.4 million in 2014
$3.4 million in 2015
$5.3 million in 2016

and Hillsborough County:

$5.4   million in 2013
$10.4 million in 2014
$15.0 million in 2015
$22.9 million in 2016

The Orlando Sentinel writes that current homesteaded homeowners will likely have to pick up the tab for those property tax reductions for first time homeowners and non-homesteaded properties:

"The burden of Florida's property taxes would likely shift away from first-time homebuyers, developers, snowbirds and landlords and weigh down the state's existing homeowners under a ballot measure approved last year by state lawmakers and pushed this year by Florida's real-estate industry.

But any property-tax reductions for new homeowners or nonhomeowners would likely involve existing homeowners having to take up at least some of the slack.

"It obviously has a lot of implications for homeowners — who are going to end up paying for it in some form — and also for people who will benefit from it," said Christopher McCarty, director of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

One thing that could partly offset the tax burden shifting to existing homeowners would be the addition of new buildings and houses to the tax rolls, Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan said. But even with extra taxes from such construction, Amendment 4 would likely leave longtime homeowners paying part of the tax break for first-time buyers, he added.
"The homeowners are going to pick up the tab," Donegan said recently. "Look out."

"What ad campaigns don't always tout is that Amendment 4 would also carve out larger tax breaks for owners of commercial property."

The Tampa Bay Tribune recommends a no vote on Amendment 4: Link

The Florida Association of Counties has released the following:

Amendment 4: Special Breaks for Special Interests
TALLAHASSEE POLITICIANS ARE AT IT AGAIN | Some state lawmakers call Amendment 4 “tax reform” but that just means well-connected special interests benefit and Florida’s homeowners pay for it.  Amendment 4 would mean big tax breaks for wealthy out-of-state snowbirds paid for by higher taxes for year-round Florida residents. 

BACKDOOR BAILOUT FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS | Amendment 4 is the latest complex and confusing brand of Tallahassee “tax reform,” which offers little relief for Florida’s full-time homeowners but promises special tax breaks for out-of-state investors, real estate “flippers” and second homeowners. 

SHIFTING THE TAX BURDEN TO FLORIDA’S HOMEOWNERS | If adopted, Amendment 4 will mean that property taxes for Florida residents who have lived in their homes for several years are likely to go up to subsidize tax breaks for non-residents and businesses.

A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH | We can’t trust Tallahassee to control budgets decisions for our local community.  Those decisions should be made by local leaders who are closer and more accountable to the people they serve.  After all, what works for West Palm Beach may not work for Pensacola, and vice-versa. 

TAX GRIEF, NOT RELIEF | Amendment 4 does very little to lower the property taxes of existing Florida homeowners, but it does a lot to help powerful special interest developers who build, sell and own property.

NOT FAIR TO YEAR-ROUND HOMEOWNERS | Amendment 4 gives tax breaks to out-of-state snowbirds who drive on Florida’s roads and use public services.  However, the amendment is likely to drive up taxes on Florida’s year-round homeowners.  In these tough economic times, with many working families struggling to make ends meet, that’s just not right.

POLICE AND FIREFIGHTING AT RISK | Amendment 4’s special tax breaks for special interests will be paid for by Florida’s full-time residents.  Altogether, it will cost local governments nearly $2 billion over four years, prompting many local communities to cut back on vital services like police and firefighting. 

THE BOTTOM LINE | Amendment 4 will mean that property taxes for Florida residents are likely to rise to subsidize tax breaks for non-residents and businesses.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Fresh market today at Wiregrass

Fresh market at The Shops at Wiregrass
The fresh market at The Shops at Wiregrass will be held today from 10:00 to 3:00.  I have been told that the produce stand will have a much larger space starting this month.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Wesley Chapel home prices up over 2011

The average reported sales price for a single family home in Wesley Chapel in September was $179,811 based on data reported from our local MLS.  This is 4.5% higher than September, 2011.

Additionally, the total percentage of distressed sales (57%) of single family homes sold in September compared to a year ago remained virtually unchanged:

Short Sales/Pre-foreclosures -  45%
REO/Foreclosures - 12%

It's interesting to note that currently only 34% of the single family homes listed for sale in MLS and not under contract are distressed sales (Short Sales & Reo/foreclosures).    Higher sales prices and fewer distressed homes on the market are encouraging signs of a recovering housing market.

Homes for sale in Wesley Chapel from $150,000 to $788,523.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

All lanes now open on I-275 in northern Hillsborough

Good news for I-275 commuters in Wesley Chapel: the new third lane was opened yesterday afternoon in each direction in the construction zone between U.S. 41 and I-75. For northbound I-275, this means three through-lanes all the way to just west of the I-75/SR 56 interchange. For southbound I-275, motorists now have three lanes from exiting southbound I-75 all the way through the project area.

While the lanes are all open, there still will be periodic night lane closures as the project continues towards completion.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tampa a top community for young people

The America's Progress Alliance has named Tampa/Hillsborough to the top 100 communities for young people in 2012

From their website:

"The 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING is an annual competition, now in its sixth cycle, that rewards and recognizes communities making extraordinary efforts to reduce dropout rates and provide outstanding services and supports to their youth. These communities, while not without their own challenges to overcome, have demonstrated a significant and lasting commitment to their youth for which they deserve to be recognized and commended."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Arts and Crafts Under The Palms 2012

The Tampa Palms Women's Club will hold its annual Arts & Crafts Under The Palms at Market Square in New Tampa on October 20th & 21st from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Additional info:  Stella Hardman, 813-977-2261

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tampa only Florida city to make Businessweek's 50 Best Cities in US

Tampa made Businessweek's top 50 cities in the United States. (San Francisco was #1.)   What was the criteria that was used to establish this top 50 list?  In their words...

" evaluated 100 of the country’s largest cities based on leisure attributes (the number of restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, professional sports teams, and park acres by population); educational attributes (public school performance, the number of colleges, and graduate degree holders), economic factors (2011 income and June and July 2012 unemployment), crime, and air quality. Major professional league and minor league teams, as well as U.S.-based teams belonging to international leagues in that city were included.

The greatest weighting was placed on leisure amenities, followed by educational metrics and economic metrics, and then crime and air quality. The data come from Onboard Informatics, except for park acreage, which comes from the Trust for Public Land. As the methodology has changed since the 2011 ranking, a city’s rise or fall compared with last year does not suggest that it has gotten “better” or “worse.”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dogtoberfest 2012 at Wiregrass

Xena at Wiregrass

Once again Dogtoberfest will be held at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel.  This is the fourth year for Dogtoberfest and last year's event had a big turnout.  It was great to see the dogs in their costumes and many of their owners wore matching ones too!

If you are a dog lover, this is a great event and it will offer live music, doggie costume contest, doggie obstacle course, and on-site pet adoptions from various Tampa Bay area rescue organizations.

Prizes will be awarded in the costume contest (limit one) for:
  • Most Festive
  • Owner/Pet Look-A-Like
  • Cutest
  • Scariest
  • Best Homemade Costume
  • Best Celebrity Look-A-Like
How to participate
This event seems to grow every year, so mark your calendars for October 27, 2012 from 10:00 to 3:00 PM. Every dog in costume will receive a medal!

Contest rules

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Panera Bread Wesley Chapel update

Panera Bread Wesley Chapel
The preliminary site plan for Panera Bread at The Shops at Wiregrass is up for approval with the Pasco County Development Review Committee tomorrow.  Plans call for a 4,486 sq. ft. restaurant to be built facing SR 56.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Raymond James Financial asks for extension on Wiregrass deal

An item of interest on today's Pasco County Board of County Commissioners Meeting Agenda: 

Raymond James Financial has requested to move the closing date for the Wiregrass Ranch property agreement from September 30, 2012 to on or before March 31, 2013 and staff has recommended that the Board approve the request.  Raymond James Financial states the reason for the request is because RJF's involvement in the recent Morgan Keegan merger/acquisition required revision to the facilities planning for the sale. 

Previous blog post about the Raymond James Financial / Wiregrass Ranch deal.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Old Navy in Wesley Chapel opening

Wesley Chapel Old Navy

Wow!  Lots of folks wanting to know when Old Navy in the Grove mall in Wesley Chapel is opening.  I hear that it will be having its "soft opening" on or about October 9th, with a grand opening after that (probably the following weekend).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

If you live in a HOA community, remember to get approval for exterior changes first

New Tampa and Wesley Chapel are known for their upscale and beautifully landscaped HOA communities, many of which are gated. Sometimes people forget that Home Owners Associations have restrictions (that vary from community to community) and those restrictions are in place to protect the values of the homes within the community.

This week an HOA in Georgia has been in the national spotlight because it is suing a homeowner over a pink playhouse in a backyard.

Earlier this summer, in Colorado another HOA dispute over a child using chalk on a sidewalk made Anderson Cooper's Ridiculist!


Locally,  a number of years ago Tampa Palms in New Tampa was in the national spotlight over a HOA treehouse dispute:  LINK

So, remember to get HOA approval if you live in a deed restricted community if you are going to change the exterior appearance of your home!  (I even have heard of a local HOA dispute over the color of blinds placed in the front windows of a home.)  If you hate the thought of restrictions, you should seriously reconsider living in a deed restricted community, but the pickings will be slim in New Tampa.

Lastly, here are 9 reasons to choose to live in a deed restricted community!

Wesley Chapel Fall Festival 2012

The Wesley Chapel Fall Festival will be held at the Grove mall on October 13 & 14 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  The festival is held by the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce and in addition to arts and crafts will feature:

WC Battle of the Wings contest
Lil Mr & Miss Pumpkin Patch Contest
Pumpkin Patch & Hay Rides
Children's Activities:
· Bounce Houses
· Inflatable Games
· Face Painting
· Interactive Crafts
Additional info: (813) 994-8534

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Tampa HomeGoods Grand Opening

HomeGoods in New Tampa

They are busily installing the shelving in the new HomeGoods store in New Tampa and it will have its grand opening on October 21, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Address:  18071 Highwoods Preserve Parkway (near Best Buy).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Billion dollars of Bay area homes to be bought up!

The Tampa Bay Times today reports that the equity firm Blackstone plans to buy up to 15,000 Tampa Bay area homes over the next year and turn them into rental properties.  The homes that they are most interested in are 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes less than 20 years old.  Price point between $100,000 and $175,000.

These are the homes in most demand in the New Tampa / Wesley Chapel area too.  A quick search of Wesley Chapel shows less than 35 single family homes in Wesley Chapel meet this criteria.  Additionally, there are less than 20 single family homes listed for sale in New Tampa under $175,000.  Many of those homes are Short Sale / Pre-foreclosure homes which can be very problematic to close. 

So, considering we have a very tight inventory of homes in this price range in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel (which often have multiple offers), the additional demand should make snagging one of these "in high demand" homes even more difficult.

Note:  44% of New Tampa and 47% of Wesley Chapel single family homes that sold in the past 3 months with a list price between $100,000 and $175,000 sold at or above list price!
September 22, 2012 update:  In today's Tampa Bay Times, Blackstone states that the dollar amount spent in any one city will be a fraction of $1B.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kwan Ming Bistro in Wesley Chapel

Kwan Ming Bistro in Wesley Chapel
I notice they have the sign up for Kwan Ming Bistro in Wesley Chapel on SR 56, but when I peeked inside it sure looks like they have a long way to go before they open.  Their facebook page indicated they planned to open in the middle of August. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel grand opening community event today

Brian Adams, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel CEO at grand opening

Don't forget the community grand opening event for Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel is today from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  Wear comfortable shoes!  Details


Saturday, September 15, 2012