February 13, 2015

Plans for mall on Mitchell Ranch land unveiled

By: Vicki Parsons - IT

Mitchell 54

By Laura Kinsler | Tribune Staff

TRINITY — West Pasco soon could get an outdoor shopping mall to rival The Shops at Wiregrass. Kitson & Partners this week unveiled a site plan for 330 acres of Mitchell Ranch at the southwest corner of State Road 54 and Little Road, giving Trinity area shoppers a hint of what’s to come.

Kitson is applying for nearly a million square feet of retail space and up to 800 housing units. A few highlights include a 12-screen movie theater, a fitness center, department stores, at least 10 restaurants and a town square. The plan also calls for a big-box warehouse store at the corner of S.R. 54 and Welbilt Boulevard. The project also calls for a specialty grocery store, a wine superstore and sporting goods and home decor big-box stores.

It’s all still very conceptual,” Kitson Vice President Debra Dremann said. “We’ve been sharing the site plan with prospective tenants for the last six months. We can’t say who they are yet, but the discussions are far enough along that we feel comfortable putting these placeholders on the site plan.”

For now, Kitson is calling the project “Mitchell 54 West,” though Dremann said the company still hasn’t settled on the final name. The heart of the project is the Main Street village, which would feature shops, restaurants and the movie theater circling a park. A good comparison would be South Tampa’s Hyde Park Village or Wesley Chapel’s The Shops at Wiregrass.

Dremann said it would be an ideal spot for outdoor concerts, arts festivals and holiday events. “The central green is going to be flexible, open space where people can relax outside,” she said. “It’s going to have a splash pad in the center. This isn’t just about shopping. We want it to be a great gathering space for west Pasco.”

Richard Gehring, Pasco’s planning and development administrator, said company founder Syd Kitson has worked closely with the county to design a dynamic mixed-use project. “When it opens, it’s going to be a great destination,” he said.

The Palm Beach Gardens developer hasn’t yet closed on the land. Dremann said the closing is contingent on getting all the approvals and permits. “Pasco County has been really great to work with,” she said. “It’s really the environmental permits that take the longest. We need approval from Swiftmud and the Army Corps of Engineers.”

The project would have a mix of residential uses that would total between 600 and 800 units, including an apartment complex with up to 330 units. The rest would be a mix of town-homes and single-family homes ranging in price from the low $200,000s to the high $300,000s — all within walking distance of Main Street. Another option might be assisted living and/or independent living for seniors. “We are right next to a school, so we should appeal to families with children,” Dremann said. “We were also hoping this will be a place where all generations will want to live. We think there’s a strong market for people who want to downsize and retire.”

The site plan also shows eight outparcels fronting on S.R. 54; each is less than 2 acres, but they could be combined to accommodate a hotel. “We’re probably not going to sell the outparcels,” Dremann said. “We’ll either do land leases or build to suit. We’re looking for high-end, sit-down restaurants for those parcels. This project is really about lifestyle and entertaining.”