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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Proposed Wesley Chapel sports complex in jeopardy

Negotiations between Pasco County and the Porter Family over the Fields at Wiregrass, the proposed 200 acre $14 million regional and national sports tournament complex northeast of The Shops at Wiregrass is teetering on collapse according to the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times this week.
In April the Pasco County Board of Commissioners unanimously committed up to $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.

Back then, Commissioner Pat Mulieri was quoted 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) were to be finalized within two to three months for a contract signing.
You know what they say.  The devil is in the details!  Apparently working out those "final details" has turned out to be problematic and the newspapers indicate that both parties are accusing each other of changing the terms of the deal.
Here we are once again!  Referring back to my blog post on November 19, 2011 I wrote:
"Will the Fields at Wiregrass be approved by Pasco County Commissioners when they take this up on November 30th or will this simply be a Field of Dreams? In the past, the Board has had a rough go of reaching agreements on sports complexes including the failed Pasco National Tennis Center and the failed Sportsplex USA project."

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Community grand opening event for Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel

Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel
Want to see the new hospital in Wesley Chapel before it opens?  Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, located on BBD just north of The Shops at Wiregrass will be holding its community grand opening on September 16th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

The new hospital plans to open in October with 83 private rooms with flat screen TV's, a 900 gallon salt water aquarium in the waiting room, walls painted in creams, greens, and purples instead of "hospital white", & healing gardens in the outdoor spaces.  Additionally, some of the cool high tech features of the hospital will be shown on the tours to the public during the open house.

Information about the grand opening*:

Entertainment by dMoBrass, from America's Got Talent, the St. Leo University cheerleaders and Radio Disney. Enjoy lunch and take tours of the hospital. Free parking is available across the street from the hospital and at the Shops of Wiregrass parking garage (bus stop). Shuttles (also free) will bring guests to the hospital.

Things To Do:
  • Food and Refreshments
  • Rock Climbing Walls
  • Bungee Jump
  • Obstacle Course
  • Radio Disney
  • Bounce Houses
  • Airbrush Tattoos
  • Balloon Artists
  • Hospital Tours
  • Wesley Chapel’s largest Zumba class
Things To See:
  • Florida Hospital helicopter
  • Pasco County Sheriff Crime Combat Vehicle
  • Behind the scenes tour of the hospital
  • St. Leo University cheerleaders
  • Pasco County Sheriff SWAT team
  • dMoBrass, from America's Got Talent

*Grand opening event information provided on the Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel website.

Friday, September 07, 2012

September real estate report for New Tampa

  • Last month 85 single family homes in New Tampa were reported sold by our local MLS.  The average sales price was $262,866.  (In August of 2011 it was $254,508.)* 
  • The average Sales Price/List Price ratio was 98%.
  • The average sales price per square foot was $95.92.  (In August, 2011 it was $91.29)
  • $88,000--the lowest reported sales price, for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom  short sale Heritage Isles home with a reported 357 days to closed.
  • $960,000 was the highest sales price reported for a 7 bedroom/7 bathroom Cory Lake Isles, foreclosure home, selling above the list price of $894,900.
  • 73% of the reported sales were "normal" sales, 12% short sales/pre-foreclosures, and 15% foreclosures.
Currently there are over 300 single family homes listed for sale in New Tampa.  List prices range from a little over $100,000 to over $2 million.

*Information reported in MLS deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Fresh Market day at Wiregrass

Fresh Market at The Shops at Wiregrass

Remember, today is fresh market day at The Shops at Wiregrass from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.