TRINITY — Last month, developers of Trinity Town Center celebrated the completion of their first building and the arrival of their first tenant.
Oddly enough, that was when developers began getting concerned phone calls.
Is Trinity Town Center shutting down construction? Have the developers run out of money?
According to developers, the answers are no and no.
While they acknowledge the $60-million, four-phase project touted as Trinity's "Main Street" is behind schedule, the developers say they have enough financing to see it through.
To make that point, they recently sent postcards highlighting the coming dining and retail attractions to more than 4,000 Trinity residents.
The first phase of construction, which includes the Old Harbor Bank and a soon-to-be coming Raymond James Financial, is now complete.
Construction on the second phase, which includes spaces for law offices and high-end restaurants, is expected to be completed by the end of the summer. The three-deck parking garage should also be open by then.
Paul Aiello, vice president of real estate at general contractor South Capital Construction, said he thinks there are a couple of reasons that people might have thought the project is in trouble.
One, he said, is that passersby had gotten used to seeing Old Harbor Bank's temporary digs in a trailer set up in the Trinity parking lot.
But when Old Harbor Bank moved into the first building last month, the temporary trailer was moved out of the parking lot. Maybe, Aiello said, residents thought the bank had given up on the project.
In addition, the construction site often looks dead to passing motorists. Aiello said that the walls for two buildings in the third phase of construction went up early, hiding from view the work being done on the second phase. Besides that, he said, a lot of the work is now more interior than exterior on those buildings.
The developer behind the project is Palm Harbor-based William Planes of Quality Holdings. Planes is also a principal in South Capital.
The funding sources for the project include a loan, Planes and a number of shareholders, said Aiello.
When finished, the shopping center will look like a downtown with pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined cobblestone paths, a band shell, fountains and a signature clock tower.
Developers had originally predicted April as a finish date for the buildings that will house the upscale restaurants, which have attracted the most interest.
Aiello attributes the delay in large part to the decision to reduce by half the size of the project's retail units, which meant the developers had to resubmit new plans to the county.
Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected] or (727)