Make us your home page
Instagram

After years of stagnation, commercial activity on the uptick in Hernando

Construction is under way at Cortez Commons, where land has been cleared for the shopping center at the intersection of Mariner and Cortez boulevards west of Brooksville. The shopping center has lined up Bonefish Grill, Hobby Lobby, Mattress Firm and the Vitamin Shoppe as tenants.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Construction is under way at Cortez Commons, where land has been cleared for the shopping center at the intersection of Mariner and Cortez boulevards west of Brooksville. The shopping center has lined up Bonefish Grill, Hobby Lobby, Mattress Firm and the Vitamin Shoppe as tenants.

The 20-acre site at the corner of Cortez and Mariner boulevards doesn't look like much yet — just a dirt lot dotted with some signs and a handful of bright yellow earth movers.

That will soon change.

Hernando County residents are brimming with anticipation at what will be the first major shopping center to open in Hernando in several years, a project that includes such big-named tenants as Bonefish Grill, Hobby Lobby, Mattress Firm and the Vitamin Shoppe.

Construction is expected to begin soon, with openings beginning later this year.

But the Cortez Commons shopping center is only one of a number of commercial projects on the horizon in Hernando, and one of the most prominent signals that the county's battered commercial real estate market has weathered the worst of the recession.

"You're going to see even more development," said real estate broker Buddy Selph. "There's going to be a lot of growth in Hernando County."

Selph said he is seeing commercial projects continue to crop up, with more businesses expanding, taking over vacant storefronts or building from scratch. Activity this year definitely is up from last, he said, after years of stagnation.

"We're seeing that really continue on," he said. "There's been a lot of commercial activity that is going on."

Across the street from Cortez Commons, Beacon Stadium Cinemas is expanding, adding three new movie auditoriums, including one with a super-size screen. Access Healthcare continues to expand. New restaurant chains, auto parts stores and discount shops have recently opened their doors.

A number of businesses have moved into vacant spaces across the county.

Earlier this year, Sears Hometown & Outlet Store moved into a long-vacant 40,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Publix in Brooksville. A packinghouse operation recently relocated from Tarpon Springs to a 20,000-square-foot building on Ayers Road near Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

Now, a Massachusetts company that refurbishes and manufactures industrial baking equipment is planning to expand at the airport. Baker Parts signed lease papers in March and is hoping to begin to bring its expanded operations to the county this month.

"We're seeing where a lot of existing spaces are getting purchased and being put into production," Selph said. "You don't have near the vacancy."

He said these facilities often offer the biggest and best bargains.

But while new businesses and projects are springing up, the number of commercial building permits being pulled remains relatively low.

Only 31 commercial permits were taken out during the first two months of 2014 — only four for new commercial structures and 27 for commercial additions, according to county records.

That's slower than during the same time last year, when the county issued 16 new structure permits and 45 for additions and alterations.

Commercial business made a bit of a comeback last year. The year saw a slight uptick in permits for new commercial structures, while commercial additions dropped.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

After years of stagnation, commercial activity on the uptick in Hernando 04/01/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 5:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trigaux: No more VinikVille as Water Street Tampa finally arrives

    Business

    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]
  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]