New outlet mall could be coming to Wesley Chapel

6:54 PM, Feb 22, 2012   |    comments
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Wesley Chapel, Florida -- For more than 10 years, the Richard Jacobs Group of Ohio and the Tampa-based Sierra Properties have been trying to open a 1.3 million square foot shopping center off I-75 and State Road 56 in Pasco County. But legal battles have kept the Cypress Creek Town Center from ever becoming reality.

Now it appears the current developers may be getting ready to sell, at least that's the impression county leaders have been left with.

"Right now pursuant to a meeting we recently had, they want to make some amendments to their approvals because they do anticipate some vendor coming in," Pasco County Zoning and Code Compliance Administrator Debra Zampetti told 10 News.

Signs seem to be pointing to Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group taking over the property.

Simon, the nation's largest operator of outlet malls, owns the Ellenton Premium Outlets as well as others in the state.

It's been reported Simon has already begun advertising in trade magazines for tenants interested in a new Florida outlet mall and many believe the Cypress Creek Town Center property is the developers number one choice.

A spokesperson for Simon would not comment on the speculation, only saying an announcement could be coming in a few months.

Meantime, the group that's battled the current developers in court welcomes a possible change.

"We've had a very stubborn developer that just flat refused to work and to be honest with you, I'm very hopeful some new people come along. Hopefully they're reasonable, responsible people that will be a win-win for this property and the development," said Denise Layne of Sierra Club of Tampa Bay.

She adds it makes sense for Simon or anyone else looking to take over the Cypress Creek property to see if there is any interest by potential retailers before moving forward with such a large scale project. But Layne says she would expect to get a call from any potential buyer to see what can be down to resolve the pending litigation.

"I'm just hopeful if the new developers or potential developers are hearing this or seeing this tonight, call me, we would love to talk settlement," said Layne.

Zampetti adds Pasco County officials are also hopeful something will finally be developed on the Cypress Creek Town Center property.

"The county would like to see additional employment opportunities and we would like to see something occur out at that location so we see this as a very positive move."

No one with The Jacobs Group return 10 News calls seeking comment.

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