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Grove mall approved; should open in fall

Work on the shopping center, anchored by a 16-screen theater, should start within 10 days.

By CHUIN-WEI YAP
Published January 26, 2007


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DADE CITY - Central Pasco looks set to get its first cinema in October.

The 16-screen Cobb Theatres multiplex anchors the Grove at Wesley Chapel, an 800,000-square-foot mall that got the green light Thursday from the county's Development Review Committee.

Construction is expected to start within 10 days, said Bill Krahe, managing partner of ECHO Real Estate Services, the Grove's developer.

The Grove sits on 120 acres on the northwest corner of County Road 54 and Interstate 75, one highway exit north of the spot where two higher-profile rivals, Cypress Creek Town Center and the Shops at Wiregrass, are still racing to get off the ground.

The Shops at Wiregrass is hoping for an early 2008 launch, while Cypress Creek Town Center is planning for fall 2008.

Cypress Creek Town Center landed an 18-screen AMC Theaters multiplex, which will make it the second cinema in Wesley Chapel to launch within a year, if the developments pan out according to schedule.

By then, the Grove should be fully up and running.

Construction at the Grove will move from the southern to the northern part of the property, with retail tenants going into the southern portion first.

They include Bed, Bath & Beyond, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Michael's craft store, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less and ULTA Salon & Cosmetics.

These contracts have all been signed, Krahe said.

The centerpiece of the Grove will be its theater, which on Thursday won county permission to bump up its number of seats from 2,400 to 3,300.

The increase creates space for reserved VIP seating in the theater, Krahe said.

The Development Review Committee also approved Hillcrest Preserve, a 650-acre community planned at State Road 52 and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard. But in a sign of continuing problems in the residential market, its developer, Standard Pacific, said the approval was for its site layout, and it has no plans to actually start building there.

Hillcrest Preserve, formerly called Pasco Hills, is a development idea that has been flipped from one developer to the next, from Carrollwood developer George Karpay in 2000 to Orlando's ZOM Development Corp. of Orlando, to Michigan developer Crosswinds Communities, before it landed with Standard Pacific in January 2006.

Chuin-Wei Yap covers growth and development. He can be reached at 813 909-4613 or cyap@sptimes.com.

[Last modified January 25, 2007, 23:35:34]


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