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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Extension sought for Cypress Creek mall

WESLEY CHAPEL - The developers of Cypress Creek Town Center have asked Pasco County for an extra 10 years to build their mall and associated retail complex straddling State Road 56 at Interstate 75. The county Development Review Committee will consider the request at its meeting Thursday in Dade City. If granted, the extension would give Cleveland-based Richard E. Jacobs Group until Dec. 31, 2021, to finish the first phase of the project. That phase includes: nearly 1.2 million square feet of mall space; a 600,000-square-foot "power center" retail area; 120,000 square feet of office space; 230 apartments; 350 hotel rooms; and a 2,582-seat movie theater. The 10 years includes one- and two-year extensions county commissioners granted all developments in 2008 and 2009. Cypress Creek Town Center's current construction deadline is Dec. 31, 2011. That deadline was set in 2004 when county commissioners first approved the project. At the time, the project was touted as one of the largest malls in the region.
The plans ran afoul of lawsuits from environmentalists and poor pollution control by the builders. The latter caused muddy water to pollute Cypress Creek last January, prompting an 18-month shutdown by federal regulators. During that delay, the economic downturn raised more questions about when the project would rebound. The developers are embroiled in a lawsuit with Kearney Construction Co., which did the site work. The developers blame Kearney for the pollution that stalled the development. Kearney, now in bankruptcy, says the developers owe it more than $1 million in unpaid bills.

Reporter Kevin Wiatrowski can be reached at (813) 731-8168.

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