MASARYKTOWN — The attraction of this quaint and quiet community, almost devoid of commercialism, has captured the attention of a developer from Naples.
Dr. Luen Nguyen discovered the rural village along U.S. 41 south of Brooksville about four years ago, he said, when he noted that Hernando County was growing with new residential enclaves and country clubs. He saw an opportunity for business development.
Construction will soon be completed on a 27,000-square-foot strip center at U.S. 41 and Ayers Road, which Nguyen decided upon as a development enterprise. It includes two buildings, one with seven units, the other with nine units, on 2.7 acres.
He welcomes commercial, retail, professional offices and dining establishments — "anybody who wants to come in.
"We'd like to have pizza, a nice Italian restaurant, the good stuff," said the physician. "We've sent out inquires to a pub and several other parties."
So far, one unit has been leased to house Daylight Donuts, an international chain out of Omaha, Neb. It should open soon.
The economic downturn has slowed the leasing business, but Nguyen's long-range forecast for the shopping plaza is rosy: "I think it's going to serve the town well. I think the town needs it."
"Why, sure," agreed Pete Mandreanu, the 14-year owner of the Harmony House Family Restaurant, which regularly draws diners from as far away as Tampa. "We're all looking to make our community better here. Everything will be at our fingertips, A-plus," he said.
Elsewhere in town, unaffiliated with Nguyen's development, a walk-in medical clinic is scheduled to open within days.
Indeed, almost every public facility is within walking distance in Masaryktown, which boasts two restaurants, a community center, a post office and a Sheriff's Office substation.
More is on the way.
A traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Ayers Road is scheduled for installation.
Both Nguyen and Mandreanu hope it will make traffic pause and cause motorists to consider visiting this low-key community.
Beth Gray can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.