A commercial corner by the entrance into Hercules Park is on its way to being sold.
What happens with the remainder of the park’s land will depend on negotiations between officials from Pasco County Schools and the City of Zephyrhills.
Zephyrhills officials remain eager to see the park reopened and refurbished, said Steve Spina, city manager.
He anticipates meeting with school district officials in coming weeks.
“We’re not sure of the acreage yet,” Spina said.
That won’t be known until the land deal is completed, city and school officials said.
Because of various stipulations in the agreement, a closing date is not expected until Dec. 9.
The Pasco County School Board, on April 5, approved the sale of approximately 2.5 acres to GH &G Florida LLC for about $1.7 million. The property is at the southeast corner of Gall Boulevard and County Road 54, near the entrance into Hercules Park.
However, the buyer could opt to purchase two smaller, adjacent parcels for an additional $600,000, according to the contract agreement.
Pasco County closed the park about five years ago to save money. Based on a prior agreement, the approximately 15-acre site had to be used as a park or be returned to the school district, which owns the property.
The property went on the market in 2015, but a $1.7 million bid by the city of Zephyrhills fell short of the initial $2.3 million offer from GH & G Florida. The company pledged to donate 10 acres to 11 acres to Zephyrhills for its park.
GH & G had six months to complete the deal, but later asked for an extension. That led to more negotiations and an agreement to sell less acreage.
The parkland is a historical site for Zephyrhills, and part of about 80 acres originally owned by Hercules Powder Co. The company, which converted pine stumps into resin and turpentine, once was the city’s largest employer.
The property later became sites for the park, Zephyrhills High School and Woodland Elementary School.
Hercules Park has a fitness trail, children’s playground and an aquatic center in a woodland setting.
School officials plan to pursue an agreement with the city.
The district has ball fields next to the park, and there would be opportunities to share parking space and other amenities.
“It would be a matter of us and the city sitting down to talk through those details,” said Chris Williams, the school district’s planning director. “I think it would be beneficial for both of us.”
Published April 13, 2016