Buzz builds as retailers ready two stores
The boarded-up Target off U.S. 19 and Scenic Drive will soon be abuzz with construction workers, as crews prepare the vacant store for two new retailers in time for the Christmas shopping season. Burlington Coat Factory will open a 65,000-square-foot store and HHGregg will open a 26,000-square-foot appliance and electronics store once the renovations are complete Oct. 1. KSH Argate Port Richey LLC bought the site earlier this month for $2,072,000, according to public records. "We operate stores in proximity to Port Richey and have built a loyal customer base," said HHGregg spokesman Jeff Pearson, noting the retailer has locations in Clearwater, New Tampa and Spring Hill, all three about 20 miles from the Port Richey site. "We believe even more consumers in the Port Richey area will be attracted to our store once we open in the fall time frame." The site, which is just north of Gulf View Square mall, has sat vacant since Target closed in January 2010. While the economic downturn hit Pasco hard, growth management director Richard Gehring said the population density along U.S. 19 remains a draw for businesses. "That's still a great activity center," Gehring said. "West Pasco has almost 250,000 people in it. You add to that south Hernando, and it's a big market area."
School lockdowns follow robbery
Two schools were on lockdown Tuesday morning while deputies searched for a gunman who robbed the Payless Shoe Source at Mitchell Plaza. The man robbed the store at 3034 Little Road about 10 a.m. by handing a note to the cashier, then ran west on foot, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. Seven Springs Middle and J.W. Mitchell High were on lockdown for about two hours as a precaution. The suspect was not found.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Goodwill program seeks mentors
Goodwill's Youth Program, in cooperation with Career Central, is seeking volunteers to mentor teens as they explore career options. Volunteers will spend one hour a week with a teen this summer, sharing their experience and guiding the teen as they learn about a potential career. Mentors will receive training. An informational session will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Career Central One-Stop Center, 4440 Grand Blvd. Or call toll-free 1-888-279-1988, ext. 1976 for information.
• The name of Hudson High School history teacher Steven Casel was misspelled in a Saturday Pasco Times story about a Hudson High senior who is going to Australia to study marine biology.
• Due to a production error, an incorrect photo ran Sunday with "The Week in Words" next to a quote by Dawn Mitchell, the woman whose car was towed after she had a heart attack.
• Numbers locating two Pasco emergency shelters were inadvertently switched on a map in Sunday's Hurricane Guide. Trinity Oaks Elementary, at 1827 Trinity Oaks Blvd., should have been No. 7, and Trinity Elementary, at 2209 Duck Slough Blvd., should have been No. 8. An incorrect road name was placed on State Road 54.