It was an eventful day for Melanie Armstrong, as she stood at the site where she’ll soon be operating Savory Roots — Catering and Events.
The shop will soon be part of a coming downtown Dade City attraction that will be known as – The Block.
Located in the heart of downtown Dade City, the premise at 14313 Seventh St. is expected to become a hub for retail and social entertainment.
Armstrong was excited on the morning of Sept. 27, as she was joined by contractors, Dade City officials and area residents during a ground breaking celebration.
Besides being a future tenant, Armstrong helped conceptualize the project alongside realtor and investor, Larry Guilford.
“We’ve been working on this project for about a year and a half,” Guilford noted at the ceremony. “We want to create a place where people can enjoy family and friends.”
The project is a new take on two existing buildings.
The premises — which spans 21,000 square feet — has an extensive history as a car dealership, going back for decades.
After it became vacant, it became a coveted spot.
“Being in commercial real estate for many years, in the area, I’ve always loved to look at this building,” Guilford said. “I saw a lot of potential in this property.”
The First National Bank of Pasco provided a loan for the project, enabling Armstrong and Guilford to push their agenda forward.
Remodeling is expected to cost at least $700,000, he said.
Most of the construction will entail reconfiguring the interior space in both buildings.
The structure facing Seventh Street will have a section designed for retail spaces.
Another part of the building will be an open venue to accommodate events such as weddings, parties and fundraisers.
There also are potential plans for a bridal shop and a brewery, Guilford mentioned.
The second building will be turned into a CrossFit gym.
And an outdoor patio will run between the two complexes, placed with seats, tables and string lights hanging above.
While it will be inclusive to all, it also is geared toward the younger-adult demographic, Guilford said.
“You’re going to see more activity here, especially as residential growth gets closer,” he added.
With schematics drawn, Armstrong already has pinpointed where her food catering shop will be located.
Savory Roots has been operating for more than a year in downtown Dade City, but will be relocating to The Block, when it opens.
The newly modified plaza will accommodate the expanding business, Armstrong said, noting that “we’re growing a lot and we need the additional space.”
She thinks The Block will not only benefit her business, but also will be a boost for the whole town.
Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez agreed: “This is going to be a major game changer – for Dade City – in terms of bringing people downtown [and] experiencing all that we have to offer.”
Most demolition work will be handled by construction workers, but visitors — donning hard hats and goggles — had the chance to take a few whacks, with sledge hammers, during the groundbreaking.
Guilford thinks The Block will help create a new vibe.
“I think it kind of changes the face of event entertainment. It brings new life to this end of town. I think it’s a win-win for everybody,” he said.
The CrossFit gym is expected to open its doors in February, followed by the retail complex in May.
Published October 09, 2019