Dade City is adding population, new attractions

As a new decade begins, the City of Dade City plans to resolve its longstanding stormwater issues, enliven its downtown with more shops and entertainment, add new attractions and to increase residential development.

The Dade City Commission also is expected to vote on the issue of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits during the first quarter of 2020.

Here is a closer look for what’s in store for 2020, and beyond.

Resolving stormwater issues
Dade City’s downtown streets and sidewalks have been known to be swallowed in at least 6 inches to 7 inches of standing water for days at a time after heavy summer rains.

Much of that should be resolved soon.

Construction is in full swing to fix the downtown flooding and drainage issues — via a $2.3 million stormwater capital improvement project, paid for with a combination of state appropriations, and funding from the Florida Department of Transportation and Dade City.

The project takes underground concrete piping through multiple downtown streets into an existing conveyance system into a reconfigured Irwin Pond, just past U.S. 98 and the CSX railway.

Work has been paused to accommodate the Jan. 25 Kumquat Festival in downtown, but the project completion is expected around mid-year.

Meantime, the city is seeking state appropriations and disaster recovery funding for a another multimillion dollar stormwater project in the Dade Oaks community.

A bike hub/splash park is coming
City staffers recently closed on a $800,000 land purchase that will become the location of a splash park/bike hub to the city’s downtown area — on a 2.23-acre parcel on Church Street, which borders the Hardy Trail and is diagonal from The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce. (The contract sale price totals $1.3 million, as the property owners have agreed to donate the difference toward the park project.)

A preliminary concept plan for the project calls for a multi-use water splash pad, bike-share shelter, amphitheater, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible playground, open space, a concession area and other amenities. The next step will be developing and finalizing a master plan for the project, with input from residents and city officials, then moving onto a final design and engineered site plan.

According to Dade City Manager Leslie Porter, the project will likely be completed in phases over the next several years, starting with the bike hub, which could break ground this year, in partnership with Pasco County’s tourism office.

Events venue and retail shops
What was once a vacant car dealership in downtown Dade City will soon be a hub for retail and social entertainment, called The Block.

The development, at 14313 Seventh St., involves converting two existing buildings, totaling 21,000 square feet.

The main plaza will have an area for retail spaces, along with a venue to accommodate events, such as weddings, parties and fundraisers. There also are potential plans for a bridal shop and a brewery there, too.

The second building is being turned into a CrossFit gym.

An outdoor patio and bar will run between the two complexes, complete with seats and tables,  and string lights hanging above.

While inclusive to all, it is geared toward the younger-adult demographic, somewhat inspired by the mixed-use Armature Works facility in Tampa Heights.

Expected to open in phases beginning this year, The Block is the brainchild of local realtor and investor Larry Guilford and Melanie Armstrong, owner of Savory Roots Catering and Events.

Dade City will be home to Florida’s first-ever snow park attraction, called Snowcat Ridge. (Courtesy of Point Summit Inc.)

A snow park in Dade City?
Come November, Dade City will be home to a very unique recreation attraction — the state’s first-ever snow park, called Snowcat Ridge.

The one-of-a-kind snow park will feature a 60-foot-tall and 400-foot-long snow tubing hill, where visitors will be able to ride in single, double, or six-person tubes down the hill; a 10,000-square-foot snow play dome to make snowmen and snow castles; and, an Alpine Village serving food and hot cocoa.

For those wondering, snow will be made with technology that can stay in place for an extended period of time, provided the temperature is under 80 degrees.

The project is being developed by Point Summit Inc., which also manages TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park and Scream-a-Geddon Horror Park. It will be located at 27839 Saint Joe Road.

Residential development on the rise
Like neighboring Zephyrhills, Dade City anticipates a surge of new rooftops in the coming decade, as the municipality has roughly 4,000 residential unit entitlements — which means they are actively under construction or review.

This year, the city will see 25 single-family homes come online at Countryside, a development situated behind McDonald’s that sits at U.S. 301, while affordable workforce/affordable housing communities Osprey Pointe (110 multi-family units) and Arbours at Hester Lake (80 multi-family units) are expected to begin leasing in the next few months.

Other residential developments on tap include the following:

  • Highland Trails: 1,110 single-family
  • Wickett: 892 single-family, multi-family, assisted living, townhomes
  • Summitview: 812 single-family, townhomes
  • Philmon: 510 single-family
  • Suwanee Lakeside: 302 single-family
  • Abbey Glenn II: 170 single-family

Vote expected on medical marijuana dispensaries
Dade City has had a series of concurrent moratoriums on medical marijuana treatment centers within its municipal limits dating back to 2016, but that could change in the new year.

City commissioners in September directed city staff to draft an amendment to the city’s land development regulations that would permit medical marijuana dispensaries in the general commercial zoning district. That district generally spans U.S. 301/U.S. 98 south and north of town, but avoids much of the city’s historic downtown main street and central business district.

A drafted ordinance is expected to come before the city’s planning board and the city commission sometime during the first quarter of 2020.

Published January 08, 2020

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