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Get ready to have your choice of furniture stores

By CHUIN-WEI YAP
Published April 18, 2007


WESLEY CHAPEL - If you're shopping for that new latte-colored leather ottoman, you might just want to wait a month or so.

Central Pasco's second major furniture store is expected to open in the first week of June, an Ashley Furniture spokesman said Tuesday.

An official opening date has not been set. There is a chance the store may open in late May, but "June-ish" looks more likely now, Chuck Spang said.

"We're working very hard to get the store ready," he said.

Ashley, headquartered in Arcadia, Wis., would join Rooms To Go on State Road 56. A third major furniture retailer, Haverty's, is also slated to open a store in Cypress Creek retail center, the mall off Interstate 75 where Ashley is set to open.

In May of last year, Rooms To Go opened where S.R. 56 joins Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. Ethan Allen is planning to open a store at Cypress Creek next year. Kids Room, a California-based furniture store, is slated to open a store at the Cypress View Square minimall, next to Seven Oaks on S.R. 56.

Subscribing to shoppers' preferences for "cluster shopping," furniture stores typically open near each other, retail brokers say.

Together, Ashley and Haverty's will take up about half of the 210,000-square-feet of the Cypress Creek retail center, which is distinct from the giant Cypress Creek Town Center regional mall proposed next door.

Cypress Creek retail center is also proposed to house Chuck E. Cheese's. The mall's brokers are still trying to confirm a third and final anchor, said Jim Kovacs, managing director of Colliers Arnold, a commercial real estate firm.

The Ashley store there is expected to generate about 50 new jobs, Spang said. The firm is still hiring for the Wesley Chapel store, including for its store manager position, according to Ashley's Web site.

Kovacs said Cypress Creek's developers are tentatively scheduled to turn over the Haverty's store, which is yet to be built, to the retailer in August.

It may not be until September that the rest of the mall, beyond Ashley, opens for business, he said.

Chuin-Wei Yap can be reached at 813 909-4613 or cyap@sptimes.com.