Apartment construction is dominating residential development along the State Road 54/State Road 56 corridor — a magnet for development in the midst of Pasco County’s surging growth.
As rooftops on luxury apartment homes pop up, retail is following, as evidenced by roadside signs and county permits.
Former pastures along the heavily traveled road are occupied now with shops, restaurants, apartments, auto dealerships and Class A offices.
The Shops at Wiregrass, near Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, in Wesley Chapel, has added Athleta; go! Calendars & games; and, siKicks (a footwear and collectibles shop); Charming Charlies; and, Hickory Farms. Coming soon are Body Details; JABZ Boxing; and The Living Room.
Besides expanding its retail, Cypress Creek Town Center, a massive development west of the Interstate 75/State Road 56 interchange, is jumpstarting its residential plans.
County building permits indicate that Garrett Apartments are coming to Grand Cypress Drive, and Silversaw at Wesley Chapel is rising along Garden Village Way and Citron Boulevard.
Valentino’s Fine Jewelers and The Good Feet Store have opened on Sierra Center Boulevard, the town center’s prime east-west road, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill is coming.
Construction on Miller’s Ale House, meanwhile, is ongoing at the Wesley Chapel Boulevard entry into Tampa Premium Outlets, on the south side of the highway.
Zaxby’s restaurant has opened on Sun Vista Drive near Costco. New offerings at Tampa Premium Outlets will include a Frosty Cart by Wendy’s and new jewelry selections with Banter at Piercing Pagoda.
Just west of Wesley Chapel Boulevard, on the north side of State Road 54, owners of El Dorado furniture store are laying groundwork for a 70,000-square-foot store.
When it opens, expected around June, shoppers will be able to stroll along a streetscape, enjoying more than 20 storefronts showcasing furniture styles from contemporary to traditional.
The Capo family, who is developing El Dorado, opened their first store in the late 1960s in Miami.
The family opened a store in St. Petersburg in late 2019, before the COVID shutdown and, despite the timing, it has fared well, according to Pedro Capo, chief operating officer at El Dorado.
Now, Capo said he expects to hire and train about 50 employees for the Pasco store, likely beginning in March or April.
Capo is optimistic about the Pasco store’s prospects, noting that the county’s residential growth bodes well for building a strong customer base.
El Dorado will join WaWa, Firestone and Burger King along State Road 54 frontage at the Brighthouse Crossings apartments.
Just west of Brighthouse, a Woodie’s Wash Shack has opened at the Shoppes at Cypress Creek. Fazoli’s Italian restaurant is another potential tenant for the new plaza.
More housing and dining options
In Land O’ Lakes, the Avidity Living apartment complex is being built off State Road 54 and Oak Grove Boulevard. The 252-unit development is scheduled to open in 2022.
Also, coming to this location, is EOS Fitness.
Willow Bend Town Centre, at State Road 54 and Collier Parkway, recently added Ayoki Japan restaurant. Esporta Fitness is a rebranding of the former LA Fitness. And a sign near the center’s entrance off the state road suggests Pasco will get another car wash – Vortex Express Car Wash.
West of U.S. 41, vacant land at Ballantrae and Cypress Ranch is sprouting “coming soon” signs as construction begins on apartment units, new retail, and a proposed Class A office complex, known as 54 Crossings.
On the south side opposite Ballantrae, the Cypress Ranch development includes Azora, a new apartment complex, with a spring 2022 opening. Signs in front of the complex show a cornucopia of proposed shops including ALDI grocery store, Chick-Fil-A, another EOS Fitness, Honest-1 Auto Care, and The Learning Experience.
“We are happy to confirm that we will open our newest Lutz, Florida location next year, with construction scheduled to begin soon,” according to Matt Thon in a statement provided by email. Thon is the Haines City division vice president for ALDI.
No further details were provided regarding the construction schedule or opening date.
A Circle K is under construction at this location, and a Woodie’s Wash Shack, is coming.
On the north side, 54 Crossings is a proposed 60,000-square-foot Class A office building, at Aprile Drive, adjacent to Ballantrae’s row of fast-food restaurants that includes Taco Bell and Dairy Queen Grill & Chill.
East of the Suncoast Parkway, the master-planned community of Bexley at Newland is moving dirt for a major retail and business center, off State Road 54 and Bexley Village Drive. Known as the Hub at Bexley, the commercial complex is scheduled for a summer 2022 opening.
Bexley’s website describes the Hub as a “retail and business destination,” with a summer 2022 opening. Bexley residents can walk or bike along connecting trails to enjoy dining, shopping, live concerts and family events. But it also is envisioned as an attraction for Tampa Bay residents with easy interstate access.
The Hub also includes a large outparcel on Bexley Village Drive, adjacent to the Springhill Suites hotel and opposite the delivery entrance into the Amazon warehouse. The site will become home to 4 & Co., with about 35,000 square feet of Class A offices and co-work spaces. Memberships and limited passes will be offered. Amenities will include a gym, yoga studio, sauna, a treatment room for acupuncture and massages, and conference rooms.
West of Suncoast Parkway, the Shoppes at Crossings Boulevard initially welcomed HotWorx and Jimmy John’s restaurant. New signs in the development indicate additional tenants will be there, including Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists, PTI Solutions, Touch Nail Spa, and Shauby Dental Institute.
Another apartment complex, Avilla Suncoast, is under construction at Redstone Way and Crossings Boulevard, immediately behind the new Hooters restaurant.
Next along the route, The Preserve Marketplace, off South Branch Road, is increasing its retail and business options with Caring Paws Animal Hospital, 100% Chiropractic, PostNet, Lin China restaurant, Papa Johns restaurant, Burger Fi, Chipotle, Panera Bread, and the USF Federal Credit Union. The shopping center is anchored by the Greenwise Publix grocery store.
Starkey Ranch Town Center, at Gunn Highway and State Road 54, is expanding, too. A shell building is under construction, but the new tenants are not yet identified.
Starkey Ranch Business Park on Heart Pine Avenue recently added Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. Tropical Smoothie Café has a ‘coming soon’ sign. Butcher’s Mark Fresh Meats and Marinades is another shop on its way.
Clearly, there’s a lot going on, along State Road 54/State Road 56 — and there’s no indication that the pace of activity will slow anytime soon.
Published Nov. 24, 2021
By Kathy Steele