Brightworks Crossing — a mixed-use project calling for offices, self-storage units, apartments, and a hotel with up to 150 rooms, landed on the desks of Pasco County’s planners nearly a year ago.
And, on Aug. 9, the Pasco County Commission pushed the project along with a series of approvals.
Commissioners unanimously agreed to amend the county’s comprehensive land use plan and to rezone the land. They also approved an agreement for a land swap between the county, the landowners and the developers.
The land deal will give the county green space for its network of wildlife corridors, and room for a park-and-ride lot with 25 parking spaces for future transit commuters.
The site is directly behind the Walgreen’s drug store, at Wesley Chapel Boulevard and the State Road 56/State Road 54 intersection.
The intersection is a high growth area populated by Tampa Premium Outlets and new restaurants on the south side of State Road 56, and on the north side of the road, the future Cypress Creek Town Center.
“It’s a major intersection. A lot of thought, evaluation and analysis has gone into this project and its impact on the intersection,” said Matt Armstrong, the county’s executive planner. “We’ve put together a package that actually improves this area and will help in the long run.”
Brightworks Crossing received approval for a maximum of 350 apartments, 250,000 square-feet of offices, and self-storage and the 150-room hotel.
A road redesign also is built into the project for Old State Road 54, which bisects the site. The short stretch of road is a popular cut-through for motorists coming down Wesley Chapel who want to avoid traffic at the State Road 56 intersection.
County commissioners agreed to close the existing cut-through to accommodate the land swap and allow developers to build a new road in its place. The new road will be open to the public.
Nearby, work is underway by Sierra Properties to build an entrance into Cypress Creek Town Center, a future mall at the northeast corner of State Road 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard, also called County Road 54.
One of the mall entrances is across from Brightworks Crossing, on County Road 54.
In the long term, the county has plans to turn the two-lane stretch of Wesley Chapel Boulevard into a six-lane divided highway with sidewalks and a multi-use trail.
The impact of traffic and road redesigns raised concerns for Sierra Properties’ developers and John Narcisi, who owns JN Electric on Old Cypress Creek Road.
Narcisi is the only business on Old Cypress Creek, which also is off Wesley Chapel and intersects with Old State Road 54.
“Traffic will increase on Old Cypress Creek Road which runs in front of my property,” said Narcisi.
Attorney Clarke Hobby, representing Sierra Properties, said the proposed new road through the site should continue to function as a cut-through that can help ease traffic congestion.
“We think that’s an important issue, and the staff needs to look at that closely,” he said.
Published August 17, 2016