Much development is on tap for the city of Zephyrhills — from new commercial and residential properties, to ongoing road construction projects.
Zephyrhills planning director Todd Vande Berg discussed a number of those projects as the guest speaker of the East Pasco Networking Group’s February breakfast meeting.
Among the most ballyhooed is the Sarah Vande Berg Memorial Tennis Center, which will be situated west of Simons Road.
The speaker said the $3.5 million project is expected to break ground in May or June: “We’re getting real close with the final engineered site plan, as well as the architect plans.”
The facility will include a mix of 11 full-size outdoor clay courts and hard courts, including an exhibition court to attract various United States Tennis Association (USTA) sanctioned tournaments.
It also will feature multiple pickleball and padel courts, racquet sports “becoming more and more popular,” Vande Berg said.
Meanwhile, the indoor portion of the center will include a lobby and seating area, community room, kid’s club room, fitness center, plus “other unique elements,” like cryotherapy and salt room chambers. Additionally, Wesley Chapel-based Buttermilk Provisions restaurant will have an in-house bakery and coffee shop with artisan offerings.
The project is a public-private partnership between the city and Tennis P.R.O and its owner, Pascal Collard, who will operate and manage the tennis facility.
The tennis center is named after Vande Berg’s daughter, a former Zephyrhills High School district champion, who died in an automobile accident at the age of 21 in October 2015.
Much of the project’s funding is being offset by various impact fees and grants, Vande Berg said.
The city planner believes the tennis center could have international draw.
He said the USTA recently inquired about having the facility someday host matches for the Fed Cup, regarded as the premier international team competition in women’s tennis.
“It’s going to be a unique opportunity for all Pasco County and the region,” Vande Berg said of the tennis facility. “It’s going to be a huge deal.”
The speaker also noted some indoor/covered tennis courts could potentially be phased in later, at the discretion of the facility’s management team.
“That would make us very unique in the state of Florida, because there’s only one other facility in the state that offers that,” he said.
Also in the arena of business development, Vande Berg mentioned the city is working on a master plan for its industrial corridor — which encompasses about 4,000 untapped acres of property along the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport — to create a regional hub for light manufacturing companies.
Vande Berg said the master plan ties in with the four-lane extension of State Road 56 to U.S. 301.
The speaker noted Zephyrhills is also pursuing an additional extension to State Road 56 that would link to State Road 39; the city received $1 million in the Florida 2019 budget to fund a planning study for the project.
“One thing that we’ve heard from some manufacturers was, ‘Well, we need access to a four-lane road,’” Vande Berg said, “so that’ll make a big difference.”
Aside from trying to expand its industrial footprint, other commercial projects are in the works in Zephyrhills.
The city is set to get a Chick-Fil-A, Aldi Supermarket, PetSmart, Marriott Fairfield Hotel and Dollar General, along with other businesses.
Florida Medical Clinic is also undergoing a major health care facility expansion along Eiland Boulevard and Simons Road, Vande Berg said.
“There’s a lot going on in Zephyrhills,” the city planner said.
Vande Berg also touched on the city’s residential development, noting thousands of new homes and apartments will be coming online in the next decade.
Some of the larger developments include The District at Abbott’s Square, Zephyr Lakes, Hidden River, and expansions to the Silver Oaks and Silverado communities, while Wire Ranch Apartments and Pretty Pond/Wire Road Apartments are some the larger multifamily units in the works.
“The residential housing is booming,” Vande Berg said. “We have a couple thousand units coming on board and they’re not all retirees. A lot of these homes are single-family, younger families with kids.”
Published March 06, 2019