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Lowe's scraps plans to build new store in Land O'Lakes

LAND O'LAKES — Do-it-yourselfers will have to keep driving farther to do it themselves.

Home improvement giant Lowe's, which announced in 2007 that it would build a 117,000-square-foot store and 31,000-square-foot garden center on State Road 54 near U.S. 41, has scrapped those plans and put the 42 acres up for sale.

Stacey Lentz, spokeswoman for the North Carolina-based chain, said the company weighs "a number of factors" in determining where to expand. The company doesn't comment on land purchases but said the chain had not simply abandoned the site in favor of another one nearby.

"Lowe's isn't coming to Land O'Lakes right now," she said.

The news surprised Patrick Berman, who tracks shopping centers for commercial real estate firm Cushman and Wakefield.

"As a site, I'd give it a B-plus," he said. "It has a window to Dale Mabry and fronts State Road 54."

However, about half the property is wetlands and changes in flood zone maps may have increased that amount, he speculated.

"Maybe they found something they didn't like," he said. Still the site would be attractive for a variety of uses, he said, including other stores, restaurants and offices.

Lowe's, a Fortune 50 company, had said in 2008 that it had planned to open the store summer of 2009. It was to have been the bigger version of its two types of stores, akin to a SuperTarget or a Walmart Supercenter.

Such stores are typically an $18.5 million investment for the company and bring 175 jobs.

Lowe's signed a $2.7 million contract in 2005 for the property, between Encore RV park and the new county fire station.

Lowe's has two stores in Pasco: It opened one in Zephyrhills in 2005 and another in New Port Richey in 1999. It has a third store in New Tampa.

Lowe's scraps plans to build new store in Land O'Lakes 02/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 8:35pm]
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