There is good news circulating around Wesley Chapel! It looks as though Cypress Creek Town Center may finally get to complete building, although it will be a different idea than what was proposed for site, which had hoped to open in 2009. The 140 acres that once was targeted to feature businesses such as Staples, Books-A-Million, and Circuit City in an open-air mall is now being considered for an outlet mall, including the fashionably chic and popular ‘Off 5th’ outlet of Saks Fifth Avenue.
The information could not have come at a better time. Wesley Chapel properties are rebounding from the economic downturn of a few years. The buyer’s market is losing ground with a housing inventory of three months. The return of a seller’s market is encouraging those dragging their feet on bargain home prices and financing to actively pursue a home in this charming, well-designed community.
One of the 18 current Developments of Regional Impact, or DRIs, in Pasco County, Cypress Creek Town Center has faced an environmental battle since 2008. The proposed one and a half-million square foot mall received permits to start construction in 2007. The Wesley Chapel and New Tampa areas rely on Cypress Creek for much of their drinking water. When muddy runoff water was discovered leaking into the creek by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the building permit was revoked.
A lengthy court battle traveled to the Federal Appeals Court, which in November, 2011 reversed the decision to revoke the mall permit. The Corps of Engineers is to determine a way to protect the property’s wildlife corridor and the development can continue. This is in keeping with Pasco County’s DRI plans, which allow for both urban and conservational balance.
Simon Property Group has malls across the country. Representatives of the Group met with county officials earlier this year. In May, Simon’s press release announced the opening of ‘Off 5th’ at seven locations, including a new mall, Tampa Premium Outlets. That particular site, currently known as Cypress Creek Town Center in Wesley Chapel, is expected to open in 2014.
A major advantage is that Tampa Premium Outlets will not compete with, but add to, the lure of Shops at Wiregrass. Two major shopping centers in Wesley Chapel will also keep the economy on its upward direction, increasing the value of homes and life in the area.