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Strip mall to join growing cluster
Local developers plan to build offices, stores and restaurants along blossoming U.S. 41.
By CHUIN-WEI YAP, Times Staff Writer
Published December 28, 2007
LAND O'LAKES - A new strip mall is about to be tucked into a fast commercializing stretch of U.S. 41.
Kelly's Lakeside Plaza is going through some final permitting hurdles, but plans filed with the county show a 38,000-square-foot complex of one- and two-story buildings with two restaurants, offices and stores.
Sitting on 10 acres just north of the Preserve at Lake Thomas community, the parcel is still vacant land. About half of the site is the lake and wetlands.
It was the site of a 1930s home, approved for demolition last year, that belonged to Stanley and Francine Litman.
Kelly Lakeside Plaza's owner-developers, Robert and Elizabeth Kelly of Land O'Lakes, bought the site from the Litmans in 2005 for nearly $400,000, according to the Pasco Property Appraiser's records.
Even as developers long for the elusive completion of the east-west Ridge Road extension, which would tie U.S. 41 to west Pasco, commercial development continues to creep up on this stretch of U.S. 41.
Less than a mile away, Black Lake Professional Office Park is just about complete, with 36,000 square feet of office space. Wilderness Commons, a 42,000-square-foot retail and office center, is set for completion in May, according to developer Lindell Properties.
Connerton, the biggest kid on the block, has been busy bringing in Publix, SunTrust Bank, Christo's Restaurant, Aveda Salon, H&R Block, State Farm, Cingular and UPS to its Arbor Square mall farther north on U.S. 41.
But, as with other developers in times of economic uncertainty, it isn't clear whether Kelly Lakeside Plaza's owners intend to follow through on their development plans, or are merely seeking to improve the saleability of their site by loading it with commercial entitlements.
Robert Kelly didn't return a call Monday. A sign on the property said it was for sale.