Offices planned on State Road 54, near Ballantrae

Plans are in the works for an office development on 12.8 acres on the north side of State Road 54, about three-tenths of a mile from Ballantrae Boulevard.

The Pasco County Commission has sent a request, from Colwell Avenue Properties IV, of Lutz,  for a proposed land use change to state agencies for review.

The land use change must occur first, before a request for a rezoning on the property can be considered by commissioners. The Pasco County Planning Commission and the county’s planning staff recommended approval of the change.

The current zoning on the property, at 17905 State Road 54, is a residential category that allows up to three dwelling units per acre.

The applicant plans to build two 60,000-square-foot Class A office buildings, which each will be three stories tall. The maximum building height would be 65 feet, according to documents included in the agenda item.

The proposed project also would include 548 parking spaces, including 16 handicapped spaces and 139 compact spaces.

A county agenda memo, prepared by Amy E. Hyler, planner II, said “the proposed office development will be located along State Road 54, an arterial roadway, and will serve as an effective transitional use.”

The agenda memo, recommending approval, also notes that the property “is located within the South Market Area and Urban Service Area and supports the vision and mission of the South Market Area as this area is characterized by dense, vertical nonresidential development, promoting higher-density, compact development that encourages a mixed-use community.

“The proposed development abuts the residents and commercial uses in the Ballantrae master-planned unit development,” the recommendation for approval adds.

The county planning staff also notes that the new offices will generate jobs, which helps to accomplish the intention of Pasco County’s Urban Service Area by creating a live, work, play environment to attract high quality development.

Pasco County is encouraging the development of this office project through economic incentives.

At its Oct. 22 meeting, the Pasco County Commission approved a plan that will provide development incentives totaling $2,935,000, according to a county agenda memo.

The county will provide a low-interest forgivable loan of $1.5 million through its PADS and PORS program, which will be secured by a mortgage on the property. The interest rate of the loan is proposed to be set at 1.6% per year, with a 10-year term. The loan balance reduction is based on achieving certificates of completion for the building shells and/or securing tenants for long-term leases. The release of the loan funding is conditioned on the company obtaining necessary comprehensive plan and zoning amendments, the memo says.

The ad valorem tax rebate is capped at $1,435,000 based on the current property millage rate and assessed valuation data obtained through the county’s tax appraiser’s office. That will be paid out over a 10-year period, which will begin when the first building shell receives a certificate of completion, the memo adds.

The county has estimated that the project will either directly or indirectly create 400 jobs, with an estimated annual payroll of $17.7 million. The project’s total economic benefit to the Gross County Product will average $26.5, according to county estimates.

The agenda memo also notes: “The company’s initial economic incentive request was for $4,965,000, but this amount was significantly reduced after extensive negotiations with county staff.”

Published November 20, 2019

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