Lot near Bloomingdale library may become home to big box store
VALRICO - Revised plans for a big box store and apartment complex just east of the Bloomingdale Regional Library should arrive at the Hillsborough County Center any day now. The property is already zoned for such uses, so it is just a matter of getting approvals for the site plan from the county staff, said Charles White, transportation review manager for Hillsborough County Public Works. There will be no public hearings. The property was rezoned nearly three years ago to allow what the county considers in-fill development on the property.The big issue at the moment is ensuring that the complex won’t create more traffic headaches for commuters through the area and won’t create a safety hazard for people going in and out of the library, White said. No specific store has been named for the project, which could accommodate a Super Target, Super Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club or similar big box on the 43.5-acre parcel. The first plan submitted to the county shows 250-300 apartments. The initial site plan, now being revised, shows future residential closest to the library, with a 158,800 square-foot warehouse-type store further east, closer to Lithia-Pinecrest Road. David Wullschleger, operations manager for the library system, said the county’s development team is working to ensure that library patrons won’t be too inconvenienced. Tentative plans for a new traffic light just east of the library could change where people enter and exit, but Wullschleger said he feels confident a redesign of the parking lot entrance “would mitigate some of the concerns.” White said a detailed traffic analysis still must be done. According to one review of the project’s transportation plan, a northern access from Lithia-Pinecrest Road would serve as entrance to the big box, the apartments and future development of four or five out parcels. The review states that the plan “creates a safety issue for shoppers pushing carts to their vehicles having to interact with traffic” going elsewhere on the property. “The interactions should be separated,” the review states. White said it will likely take at least a month to review a new plan and get input from various county departments.