The largest Hispanic-owned furniture retailer in the United States plans to open a new store in the mixed-use, residential and commercial project, known as Brightwork Crossing.
An apartment complex at Brightwork Crossing is under construction at State Road 54 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard. Shops and a hotel are planned, too.
A new Burger King restaurant recently opened on a parcel, fronting State Road 54.
The estimated opening for El Dorado Furniture Store is fall 2019, according to Pedro Capo, chief operating officer of the family-owned business.
Bowman Consulting Inc., filed a preliminary site plan for El Dorado Furniture, and had a pre-application meeting with Pasco County planners in July.
“Everything is looking good,” said Capo.
The Miami-based business is expanding elsewhere in Florida, including new stores in Naples and Fort Myers. A former Sports Authority on Tyrone Boulevard, and a Babies R Us, will be remodeled and opened as El Dorado stores.
The site plan for El Dorado shows a two-story, 70,000-square-foot building, with access from Ashley Creek Trail.
Ashley Creek is among new roads built, internal to Brightwork Crossing. Maren Way is a new road off State Road 54, leading to Burger King and the apartments.
A WaWa gas and convenience store also is featured on the site plan, across from the furniture store. It also has access from Ashley Creek.
The recent El Dorado Furniture store opening in Naples is the company’s 16th store, said Capo.
The company has wanted to move into Pasco for awhile, and looked at a site about five years ago, east of Interstate 75. Tampa Premium Outlets was still in planning stages.
“It was too soon. Then, the recession came in,” said Capo. “But, now the timing is right.”
Company founder, Manuel Capo, left Cuba after the Fidel Castro regime confiscated the family’s chain of furniture stores, known as Casa Capo. Capo and two of his six sons sailed a small boat, named El Dorado, to Mexico, and then settled in Miami, according to the website.
The rest of the family later joined them.
Capo opened El Dorado (named for the boat) in 1967 in Little Havana.
Manuel Capo died nearly 10 years ago. His sons now operate the family business, which is recognized among the top 50 furniture retailers in the country, the website adds.
In the early 1990s, the family designed a unique showroom concept, featuring the El Dorado “boulevard.” Customers stroll along a streetscape, dotted with old-fashioned benches and street lamps, 16th century-inspired stained glass windows, and Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Capo said the parking lot also features old-fashioned street lights and brick pavers to begin what is essentially a neighborhood experience.
Typically, customers in most furniture stores might spent 20 minutes, but El Dorado customers stay as long as an hour, he added. “They can just relax, enjoy a cup of coffee and wander around,” Capo said.
The store has more than 20 storefronts, and specialty furniture shops, which showcase various furniture styles from contemporary to traditional.
Same-day delivery is available in many instances.
“Being Hispanic, typically the whole family comes to shop,” Capo said. “They’d bring anybody that fit in the car, even their neighbors.”
But, he said, the boulevard concept proved successful “for everybody. We do have people for all over the world to look at our boulevard.”
Pasco County commissioners approved Brightwork Crossing in August 2017. The development will have about 350 apartments, 250,000 square feet of offices, retail, and a 150-room hotel.
The approximately 32-acre site is off State Road 54, west of Wesley Chapel Boulevard. It is behind the Shell gas station and Walgreen’s drugstore.
State Road 54 and Wesley Chapel are at the epicenter of retail growth in Pasco. Tampa Premium Outlets, a row of restaurants, a new At Home store and Costco are among the projects that opened on the south side of State Road 56.
Cypress Creek Town Center, on the north side of State Road 56, is filling up with restaurants, including Bahama Breeze Island Grill, Mellow Mushroom, and Chuy’s Tex Mex. The Hyatt Place Hotel is almost ready for its grand opening.
Other planned shops include HomeGoods, Blaze Pizza and Hobby Lobby.
Published August 1, 2018