First chunk of Starkey Ranch changes hands
A real estate investment firm has closed on the first piece of the Starkey Ranch as part of a multiyear deal. Wheelock Street Capital purchased the first 1,080 acres last month. The firm, which is based in Greenwich, Conn., and Boston, will ultimately pay roughly $50 million for the full 2,500 acres, said Trey Starkey, whose family owns the ranch. He declined to give a breakdown of the prices for each phase. "We do not feel like we sold at the bottom of the market," Starkey said. He added, "We're bullish on the 54 corridor, and the price reflects that." In anticipation of the sale, county officials last year approved a massive development plan for the Starkeys' namesake ranch. The former cattle ranch can have up to 5,050 residential units; 450,000 square feet of retail, office and medical uses; 300,000 square feet of light industrial uses; and 220 hotel rooms. Numerous amenities are planned, including a community center, new elementary and middle schools and a district sports facility. The project will be managed by Reed Berlinsky of Florida-based Gentry Land Co. Wheelock will begin marketing lots to builders in mid 2013 for delivery in 2014.
Man shot; suspect steals, burns car
A 38-year-old man was shot multiple times Tuesday evening, suffering potentially life-threatening injuries. Antyone Askew of Wesley Chapel was shot just after 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Circle K at 1449 Paul S. Buchman Highway, south of Zephyrhills, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. Askew was taken to an undisclosed hospital. The shooter fled in Askew's older model, black Mercedes, traveling south on Buchman Highway. The stolen Mercedes was abandoned in Plant City and burned, the Sheriff's Office said. Authorities have not released a full description of the male suspect, who remains at large.
Talent showcase deadline is Friday
Friday is the deadline to enter the annual Pasco Showcase of Talent contest, to be held on opening day of the Pasco County Fair. The entry fee is $20 for individuals in the solo competition; $20 for group competition plus $10 for each group member. Contestants can enter one solo and one group competition. Talent must be no longer than 3 minutes for soloists and 3 1/2 minutes for groups. The preliminary competition will be held Jan. 19. The 10 performers with the highest scores in each age group will advance to the final contest to be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at Dan Cannon Auditorium at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. Contestants will be judged on talent, stage presentation and dress. Winners in each age group will receive $100 cash and a trophy. Applications are available online at pascocountyfair.com; at the fair office at 36722 State Road 52, Dade City; or by calling (352) 567-6678.