Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pasco commits $14 million for The Fields at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel

Yesterday Pasco County commissioners unanimously committed $14 million for the proposed 200 acre, multi-field sports complex on Wiregrass Ranch property in Wesley Chapel.  $11.5 million will come from tourist development funds (hotel taxes) which have been accumulating for almost two decades and the remaining $2.5 from funds for park construction.

Touted as a "tourist destination", the youth sports complex according to the Tampa Bay Times could generate as many as many as 100,000 hotel nights per year with 2,000 teams a year.  The fields would be available to public youth sports leagues 25% of the time and the other amenities in the park would be open to the public all the time.

Eight baseball/softball fields, 12 soccer/lacrosse fields, parking lots, concession stands, restrooms, playgrounds, and a welcome center are included in the project which is located adjacent to The Shops at Wiregrass and the $121 million Wesley Chapel hospital under construction--Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.  Additionally, one ball field and one multi-use field will have stadium seating and be equipped for television production and an adjacent lake currently under construction would be dedicated to the county.

Commissioner Pat Mulieri is quoted in the Tampa Tribune as saying:  "It's the right place at the right time.  Wesley Chapel is an economic engine for Pasco County."

Final details (including the Porter family's wish to speed up construction of Wiregrass Ranch homes) between the county and the Porter family (owner of Wiregrass Ranch) should be finalized within two to three months for a contract signing.

The proposed Fields at Wiregrass is shaded green, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, shaded blue, and The Shops at Wiregrass shaded pink.

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