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Rezoning sought for a Wal-Mart

Clearwater auto dealer Larry Dimmitt is asking Pasco County to rezone 30 acres at Gulf Trace Boulevard and U.S. 19

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

HOLIDAY -- Developers are courting a Wal-Mart Supercenter for Holiday.

Clearwater car dealer Larry Dimmitt has asked Pasco County planners to rezone 30 vacant acres he owns at the northwest corner of U.S. 19 and Gulf Trace Boulevard to allow for more commercial space.

Pasco County zoning administrator Debra Zampetti said the developer is negotiating with Wal-Mart to build a supercenter for that site.

Wal-Mart Supercenters, which tend to cover 200,000 square feet, combine full discount and grocery stores. They typically provide about 500 new jobs.

Last year, Wal-Mart opened supercenters in Port Richey at Ridge Road and U.S. 19 and New Port Richey at Little Road and State Road 54, and last month, another in Zephyrhills on U.S. 301.

All of those replaced Wal-Mart's smaller discount stores nearby.

The supercenters have been Wal-Mart's primary vehicle for growth in recent years. The Bentonville, Ark. retailer plans to open 210 supercenters in the upcoming fiscal year. The company has 3,335 stores nationwide, and reported sales of $218-billion the past fiscal year.

Dimmitt had originally planned for some commercial space and apartments for that site. He has asked the county to change the zoning, to make it solely for commercial use. Developers representatives met with county planners Wednesday to discuss the changes.

Officials representing Wal-Mart and Dimmitt did not return calls seeking comment.

-- Staff writer Jim Thorner contributed to this report.

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