Make us your home page

Dillard's taps into Wesley Chapel shoppers' impatience

WESLEY CHAPEL — It's about time.

Just about everyone who came Wednesday to the new Dillard's, the first new store to open at the Shops at Wiregrass, said that in so many words.

"I'm ecstatic," said Renee Glassman, 58, of the nearby Meadow Pointe neighborhood. She would have been standing at the door when employees opened it at 10 a.m. but she volunteers at Sand Pine Elementary School.

"The minute I was finished volunteering I was here," said Glassman, who admitted she was "ready to shop."

Managers estimate about 60 people visited the store when the doors opened. The opening was known as a "soft opening," which means it isn't publicized.

"It's practice," said Lisa Rice, manager of the ready to wear department. "It's to make sure everything works."

The 145,000-square-foot store is part of the new outdoor mall, referred to in development circles as a "lifestyle center." The mall now has more than 60 stores, and when fully leased, expects to have 100 shops and restaurants, including a double-decker Barnes & Noble bookstore.

The new mall officially opens Oct. 30. Macy's has its soft opening today, while both department stores have grand openings set for Saturday. JCPenney, which is also one of the anchors, opened in 2005. It is also offering giveaways and promotions.

This morning, shoppers strolled among the racks of designer clothes, high-end cosmetics, fine china and twinkling Christmas trees.

"We moved here two years ago," said Patricia Biasi, 35, who was at the store with her husband, Franco and their 3-year-old daughter, Sofia. "And we've been counting the days. We wanted to be one of the first people to see it."

The family lives in Grand Hampton, just over the Hillsborough County line. The new mall, a first for central Pasco, is big because it will likely lure shoppers — and their sales taxes — north from Hillsborough, which is where east Pasco shoppers, with few exceptions, were forced to drive in order to shop at anything that didn't end with the words "Club" or "Mart."

It also lured 48-year-old Mattie Jones from Dade City.

"I'm glad we finally have something like this, and a Macy's too," said Jones as she looked at replicas of Jacqueline Kennedy's gowns, part of an Oleg Cassini display. The designer sells a line of dresses at Dillard's.

Lisa Buie can be reached at or (813) 909-4604.


What opens next

• Macy's has its soft opening today and its grand opening Saturday.

• Dillard's grand opening celebration is Saturday through Nov. 2 and will feature prize giveaways, fashion shows and special appearances. A ribbon-cutting is set for 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

For more information, visit

Dillard's taps into Wesley Chapel shoppers' impatience 10/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
  2. Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to help more kids in Tampa Bay


    The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.

    Grace Savage, a 10-year-old girl with a chromosomal disorder made a trek to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last year, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation intends to beef up its presence in the Tampa Bay area after a reorganization. The region is now the responsibility of the foundation's Southern Florida chapter, one of the most active in the country, with more than 11,000 wishes granted so far. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  3. Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don't.


    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the …

    In the foreground is a document detailing the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills obtained from a federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Behind it is the state?€™s version of the same document, from the Agency for Health Care Administration, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]
  4. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  5. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]