The first retail component of the northern portion of the Cypress Creek Town Center in central Pasco is under way, with a Tennessee developer planning a nearly 21,000-square-foot strip center with an adjoining restaurant.
The center and 5,000-square-foot restaurant will join the just-opened Pollo Tropical, Ford's Garage — which is under construction — and a planned Taco Bell along the north side of State Road 56 between Interstate 75 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard (County Road 54) in Lutz. That puts them directly across the highway from the Tampa Premium Outlets mall and the six restaurants, with two more under construction, in the portion of the town center south of SR 56.
"All you've got to do is drive by. Every restaurant out there, the parking lot is filled,'' said Robert Sierra, chairman and CEO of Sierra Properties.
Sierra Properties and affiliated companies own the 204 acres in the northern portion of Cypress Creek Town Center. Simon Properties and the Richard E. Jacobs Group are the primary developers of the town center south of SR 56, where all of the retail development activity, including last month's opening of Costco, has occurred.
But, on Feb. 13, Pasco County approved the preliminary site plan for the 3.3-acre parcel holding a seven-store retail center plus a restaurant and a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio north of SR 56. Bulldozers began preparing the site for construction last week. The developer is Hutton of Chattanooga, Tenn., which lists 979 development projects across the county on its website.
Hutton also is the developer of the planned 325,000 square feet of retail space on land north and east of the Ford's Garage restaurant, Sierra confirmed. That parcel, at one time, had been targeted for a Cabela's outdoor sporting goods megastore.
Much of Hutton's recent portfolio includes smaller projects like Family Dollar and O'Reilly Auto Parts stores, but neither of those will be coming to Cypress Creek, said Sierra. Hutton representatives did not return a phone call seeking comment. Sierra said five of the stores already have tenants. He declined to name them.
But, a March 3 flier from leasing agent Southeast Retail Group, which is marketing a site in the southern portion of the town center, identified potential tenants in the Hutton plaza as Men's Warehouse, T-Mobile and Mattress Firm, plus Newk's Eatery and Mellow Mushroom restaurants. It also listed Bahama Breeze as occupying a separate stand-alone restaurant building to the east.
Hutton's participation comes at the same time as a different national shopping center bowing out. Regency Centers had planned a 13-store, 240,000-square-foot plaza at the western edge of Cypress Creek Town Center, to include an organic grocery store as an anchor. But the company no longer is involved, Sierra said. Those 22 acres, at the corner of SR 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard, are again available for lease.
Construction of the 130-room Hyatt Place-Wesley Chapel, on the far eastern side of the town center site, should begin in April or May, said Sierra. The northern town center project also includes 230 apartments, while the south side is zoned for additional stores and a movie theater.