After more than a year of back and forth negotiations, an application to rezone property at the historical crossroads known as Gower’s Corner got the approval of Pasco County’s local planning agency.
The rezoning application has been continued repeatedly since late 2016.
But, on Dec. 14 in Dade City, members of the Development Review Committee voted in favor of a project to build up to 215,000 square feet of retail/office and a maximum of 40 apartments. The committee also approved a variance related to U.S. 41 right-of-way that will be used to widen the two-lane highway to four lanes, with the potential for six lanes.
As part of its five-year work plan, the Florida Department of Transportation is slated to begin construction in 2020 on a segment of U.S. 41, from north of Connerton Boulevard to south of State Road 52. There also are plans to realign the intersection.
The approximately 44 acres of vacant land, identified in the rezoning as Tibbett’s Land at Gower’s Corner, is located at the southwest corner of State Road 52 and U.S. 41.
Clearwater attorney Jerry Figurski represented the property’s owners.
Construction on the proposed project likely is a few years off, and might not begin until the road widening, he said.
“It’s not clear if the Tibbetts will develop it or sell the land.”
Pasco County commissioners approved a land use amendment on the property in 2016, which was then followed by the rezoning application and the series of continuances.
Although the Development Review Committee has recommended approval, the rezoning application still needs to go before the Pasco County Commission for final approval.
The name of Gower’s Corner dates back to lumberman William Arthur Gower, who at one time owned land at all four corners of the intersection. In the late 1930s, he operated the first gasoline station and convenience store in the area.
County records show the St. Petersburg-based Tibbetts Land LLC, controlled by the Tibbetts, is owner of the southwest corner of the intersection.
Tibbetts Lumber was founded in 1949 by Linton Tibbetts. The company has five locations in Florida including its Land O’ Lakes location at State Road 54 and U.S. 41.
Published December 20, 2017