Pasco takes step forward to approve second-largest project in county history

Pasco County is another step closer to approving the second-largest project in its history.

The Pasco County planning commission has approved 965-acre project that will go on the southeastern portion of the interchange of I-75 and State Road 52.

"Being located at the intersection of a major interstate highway is a logical place for growth to be expected," said planning commissioner Jon Moody.

The town center, developed by PTC Boyette out of Dallas, will be akin to other developments approved by Pasco commissioners.

Expect 3,500 homes and 400-000 sq. ft. of retail space.

But the county is most excited for the 4,000,000 sq. ft. of industrial space and 725,000 sq. ft. of office space.

"There are a lot of businesses that are seeking to situate here in Tampa Bay that are not corporate headquarters, but they are subsidiaries, but need 15,000 or 100,000 sq. ft."

Pasco's second-largest project, after only the Moffit project near the Veteran's Expressway, is expected to bring 6,000 jobs for companies in life sciences and aerospace engineering.

But, some who live on McKendree Rd. are concerned as to what else might come.

"To have a massive industrial building come in and the population it's going to generate is a huge change to our way of life," said Lauren Levi, whose family has lived there for generations.

Planning commissioners called the project well-thought-out, said it would raise property values, and bring in $11 million a year in taxes.

"I don't think there's anything we can do to stop that kind of growth," said Moody. "The population continues to grow. The people up north keep coming."

The project is expected to break ground at the end of this year or early next year.

There will be many phases to it and will likely take several years to complete.

The county commission has already approved $56 million in tax incentives for this project, will take a final vote next month.