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Retailers salivate at consumer boom

Wal-Mart, Target, mall builders and others see fresh opportunities.

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 16, 2003

Retailers continued to follow the acres of new rooftops into Pasco in 2002, counting on the continued migration from Hillsborough and Pinellas and the influx of younger families into the area.

The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, pushed farther into the county, opening a store in Zephyrhills and making plans for new stores in Holiday and Hudson. The plans for Hudson will transform the old Bayonet Point Mall, which has sat mostly vacant since it opened in the 1980s. Wal-Mart also started firming up plans for two stand-alone groceries, called Neighborhood Markets, in Pasco.

Target opened its first superstore in the region in March in Wesley Chapel.

Officials from Borders bookstore confirmed that they were looking for sites in the area, while housewares retailer Linens n' Things was eyeing a spot at Gulf View Square mall.

That mall, in Port Richey, has had a vacant anchor space ever since Montgomery Ward shut down in December 2000. Dillard's moved into Ward's space in February, leaving its own spot empty.

In the meantime, plans for Pasco's second mall took root in booming central Pasco. Developer Edward J. DeBartolo firmed up plans to build a 1.3-million-square-foot mall at the southwest corner of State Road 56 and Interstate 75. The mall, tentatively called Cypress Creek Town Center, would feature more than 100 stores.

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