Brick-and-mortar projects are rising rapidly, expanding Pasco County’s booming growth.
Construction crews are building shops, restaurants, Class A offices, gas and convenience stores, and car washes — on sites with “Coming Soon” signs.
The county’s major commercial corridors – State Road 54 and State Road 56 – remain the epicenters of a construction juggernaut.
But Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, also known as U.S. 41, is an emerging source of expanded commercial and retail development.
Workers in hard hats and construction equipment engaged in projects are common sights on primary corridors in Pasco County.
Beginning on State Road 56, east of Interstate 75, options at The Shops at Wiregrass are expanding, or have expanded, to include Body Details; Crazy Sushi; Leonidas; and The Living Room.
New arrivals nearby include the Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Morningstar Storage.
On the west side of I-75, on State Road 56, new businesses are opening at Tampa Premium Outlets and Cypress Creek Town Center.
Tampa Premium Outlets, on the south side of the state highway, is adding Zumiez, according to the outlet’s website. The store features “cutting-edge” clothing, shoes, accessories and brand names for skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing.
Zaxby’s fast-food chicken restaurant opened in September on an outparcel of the Cypress Creek Town Center expansion, also on the south side of State Road 56, between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Sun Vista Drive. Chicken Salad Chick is expected to occupy space in a new building under construction next to Zaxby’s, according to county permits.
On the north side of State Road 56, a Carrabba’s Italian Grill is under construction, next to Bonefish Grill in the Cypress Creek Town Center.
Also, a January 2023 opening is expected for the 300-unit, four-story Silversaw apartment homes, on Garden Village Way, off the town center’s Sierra Center Boulevard. Work also continues for the 260-unit Garrett Apartments at Cypress Creek Town Center..
Heading toward Land O’ Lakes, the Avila Living apartment complex is rising at State Road 54 and Oak Grove Boulevard. Brick-and-mortar also is visible now at EOS Fitness.
U.S. 41, heading west from State Road 54, has had activity in recent months, too.
Circle K and 7-Eleven opened new gas stations and convenience stores on the federal highway, which locally is known as Land O’ Lakes Boulevard.
The Circle K replaced a demolished older strip mall at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Hale Road. The 7-Eleven and a Radiant car wash filled out a vacant corner at the Bell Lake Road intersection.
Land O’ Lake residents are eagerly awaiting the opening of Stonewater Grill, which fronts Bell Lake.
In its previous renditions, the restaurant operated as Rapscallions, was rumored to be a future Hooter’s location that never came to fruition, and then served customers as Mosquito Grill and Bar, before closing and falling into disrepair.
Years ago, county officials moved to demolish the vacant and dilapidated structure.
But co-owners Dominic Difante and Scott Harris saw potential and now plan to open Stonewater Grill in early May.
They tore down most of the old structure and replaced it with a modern, stone-infused restaurant that will offer what Difante describes as an “elevated casual” dining experience.
The menu will include burgers, wings, tuna, steaks, chicken, and other options to please all tastes, Difante said.
There also will be patio dining with a bar, a wine room, a large event room with a bar, and an outdoor lounge area. He hopes to see customers dining, watching sports on large screen television, and returning two to three times a week, he added.
He hopes in the future to build a 75-foot dock, also suitable for outdoor dining.
“It’s a good area, a visible area,” Difante said. “I’m glad to be here.”
Projects galore on State Road 54
On State Road 54, moving west of the U.S. 41 intersection, an array of shops, restaurants, Class A offices and new apartments are transforming former pastureland.
The Shops at Ballantrae and the Cypress Ranch residential and commercial development especially are busy.
At Ballantrae, on Aprile Drive, the 54 Crossings Professional Center is under construction. The Class A office project includes two 60,000-square-foot office buildings. It will offer luxury flexible office space, lush landscaping, bicycle racks, a pavilion and walking trails, according to its website.
A shell building is under construction, also on Aprile, that will include a Five Guys restaurant and Trulieve, a medical marijuana store, according to county permits.
Opposite Ballantrae, Cypress Ranch is adding apartments and retail. Aldi’s grocery store, on Skybrooke Road, and Panda Express, on Harpers Run, are under construction. County permits also show work underway for EOS Fitness, Pacific Dental Services, The Learning Experience, and Chick-fil-A.
Next to a new Circle K gas and convenience store, Burger King is serving burgers and Woodie’s Car Wash is cleaning cars.
Further west toward the Suncoast Parkway, The Hub at Bexley, off Bexley Village Drive, plans to open by the end of 2022. Its website lists future tenants for what is promised as a community gathering center, where residents can “come, stay and play.”
Among future tenants are Amazing Lashes; Bubbakoo’s Burritos; Checkmate Escape Rooms; Downright Deli & Donuts; Dr. Bawany dental office; Duckweed Liquors; Headlines Barbers; Haute Nails and Spa; P-Fit Fitness; Revolution Ice Cream; and The Poke Company.
Off Bexley Village Drive and Early Riser Drive, 4 & Co. Is planned for a summer 2022 opening. The company will offer about 35,000 square feet of Class A offices and co-workspaces. Amenities include a gym, yoga studio, sauna, a treatment room for acupuncture, and conference rooms.
The Springhill Suites by Marriott, also on Bexley Village Drive, is checking in guests.
In Odessa, commercial development at Starkey Ranch is expanding.
A new retail center – Shoppes at Starkey Crossings – is scheduled for an early 2023 opening on the north side of State Road 54 and Gunn Highway, opposite the Starkey Ranch Town Square, anchored by Publix. Details on tenants are not announced, but the shopping center will have 20,000 square feet of leasable space, including a drive-thru window at one end.
Stay tuned. There’s more to come in Pasco, soon.
By Kathy Steele
Published April 20, 2022