Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

Whatever happened to plans for that giant Crystal Lagoon pool in Pasco County?

WESLEY CHAPEL — The developers of a 7.5-acre pool called a Crystal Lagoon first said they would break ground in late 2014. In April this year, they said construction would begin within a matter of weeks. And this week, Metro Development Group claimed that the work will start within the next month.

"It's imminent," said the company's president, Greg Singleton.

Previous coverage: Construction of giant 'Crystal Lagoon' swimming pool in Wesley Chapel to start soon

The lagoon is the main amenity for a $100 million, 1,500-home development called Epperson, located a couple of miles east of Interstate 75, between State Roads 52 and 54. Epperson is a piece of the larger Connected City district, an ultrafast Internet community that would be first of its kind in the U.S.

Singleton said the delay was due in part to changes in the design of the project involving the parking lots, beaches and the overall layout of the lagoon.

"It is a slow process," he said. "We're measuring twice and cutting once."

Now the plans are complete and the company has identified a general contractor and the contract should be finalized in a matter of days, Singleton said Wednesday.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, approved environmental resource permit for phase one of the development on Oct. 5. Public documents show the application was submitted May 20 and approved on Oct. 5. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also gave the green light.

The Wesley Chapel lagoon was expected to be the first of its kind in the country. But further delays may cause it to lose that title. Another developer in the St. Augustine area is expected to break ground on a 14-acre lagoon this quarter, said Uri Man, chief executive of Crystal Lagoons U.S., the company behind the technology. A third, in Dallas, is slated to be dug out starting in March.

Crystal Lagoon was invented by a Chilean real estate developer who built out a 20-acre pool along the country's coastline in the mid-1990s.

The boomerang-shaped one in Tampa Bay will be the length of five football fields and hold 16 million gallons of water. It will be up to 8 feet deep. The project was originally criticized for considering using water pumped straight from the aquifer to fill the lagoon, raising sinkhole concerns from nearby residents. Metro Development therefore reversed its plan and currently intends to purchase water from the county utilities instead.

Pasco Assistant County utilities administrator Flip Mellinger said the lagoon will be filled at a rate of 300 or 400 gallons a minute over at least 30 days and cost Metro just over $50,000.

Singleton added, however, that the developer is reserving the right to find another water source.

Contact Alli Knothe at [email protected] Follow @KnotheA.

 
Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. In preliminary findings of ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18