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.