Plans for a home improvement store left for dead three years ago is now being resurrected as Lowe’s gets ready to finally come to Land O’ Lakes.
Crews are now clearing trees and other foliage from a 42-acre tract of land on State Road 54 just east of Land O’ Lakes Boulevard where they expect to have a 152,000-square-foot Lowe’s by winter, according to company spokeswoman Natalie Turner.
The store will bring 125 jobs, and the hiring process could begin later in the year.
“We’re excited as all get-up,” said Dennis Esber, president of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce, and owner of Point to Point Printing. “What’s happening is that people are starting to recognize that the Lutz and Land O’ Lakes area is a great area to be in.”
The North Carolina company purchased the land between Winter Quarters Pasco RV Park and the Pasco County fire station there in 2005 for $2.7 million, and had hoped to open the store by 2009. However, Lowe’s abandoned those plans in 2011, with reports the company would try to sell the land.
The new Lowe’s will have a 103,000-square-foot sales floor and a 31,300-square-foot garden center, according to the site plan submitted to Pasco County officials. It also would have enough parking for nearly 525 cars.
Its primary entrance would be on the east side of the property, creating an intersection with the Village Lakes Shopping Center across the street, where a new Marshalls location is just weeks away from opening.
Officials with the Framingham, Mass.-based discount clothing department store chain said they’re not ready to release any details, but Marshalls stores are typically 31,000 square feet, and the newest location hosted a job fair for prospective employees last week in Port Richey.
Marshalls will now be in the same plaza as one of its primary competitors, Ross Stores Inc., which operates a Ross Dress for Less there. The draw of all three stores, along with several others in Village Lakes and surrounding shopping centers, should continue to help draw more and more people to Central Pasco County. It’s also a boon for Village Lakes, which suffered tremendously in the years after losing its Walmart anchor, only to bounce back and be a major player in the area’s growth.
“The county had finally got involved to get things corrected in that little shopping center, and turned it into something real good,” Esber said. “If you have an eyesore, people start grumbling and then start thinking the worst about the area. But now you see a nice change in people’s mentality, and I like to see the positive atmosphere.”
And that includes how people outside of Central Pasco think of the area.
“People have been negating this area for quite a long time, but that’s really starting to change,” Esber said. “They’re finding out there is a lot more here, and a lot of history. And we’re ready to keep growing.”
Published April 23, 2014
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.