Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco approves deal to clean up Trinity Town Center

Since the summer of 2008, the Trinity Town Center project at Little Road and Trinity Boulevard has been mired in financial and legal problems. The center is about half finished.


Since the summer of 2008, the Trinity Town Center project at Little Road and Trinity Boulevard has been mired in financial and legal problems. The center is about half finished.

DADE CITY — Pasco County has struck a deal to get the Trinity Town Center owner to clean up the unfinished project.

The agreement approved by Pasco commissioners Tuesday requires Bill Planes' Trinity Town Center to make improvements by certain dates. The improvements include removing debris piles and construction equipment by Dec. 20 and painting unfinished buildings and removing visible tar paper by Feb. 15. By June 1, the bare dirt areas must be covered with plants or grass.

In exchange, officials agreed to drop an administrative complaint against Trinity Town Center for expired building permits and to cut the company a break on the due date for the $35,000 in fees Planes owes the county to extend the permits.

Typically, the money is due up front. But as part of the deal, Pasco agreed to give Planes until December 2012 to come up with the money.

"I just think we're in tight economic times. We're trying our best to bring jobs to Pasco," said Commissioner Pat Mulieri. "I'd just hate to lose this opportunity."

Since the summer of 2008, the project has been mired in financial and legal problems, which became public when subcontractors began complaining about bounced checks and a lack of full payment for their work.

After construction stopped, Trinity residents began complaining about safety issues and the appearance of the half-finished site at Little Road and Trinity Boulevard.

Planes is the key principal in both the company that owns the property and the general contractor on the Trinity project, South Capital Construction.

The deal approved Tuesday is a result of a recent push by Pasco officials to get Planes to improve the half-finished buildings or risk demolition. Planes of Tarpon Springs has been cited by county building officials for 116 permits that expired in 2009.

Planes, who attended Tuesday's meeting but did not speak, has blamed the stalled project on his New Jersey-based lender, Kennedy Funding, saying the group failed to deliver on a $47 million loan.

But Kennedy has denied that charge, saying that Planes got the required draws on the loan when he met the necessary contractual obligations.

The dispute between Planes and Kennedy, as well as the claims by dozens of subcontractors, are now lumped into a slow-moving court case that one lawyer quipped was "the legal labyrinth of doom."

The $35,000 in permit extension fees isn't the only money that Planes' company owes Pasco County taxpayers. His Trinity Town Center owes nearly $212,000 in delinquent property taxes from 2008 and 2009, according to online records from tax collector Mike Olson. The company also owes $74,000 for 2010.

Assistant County Attorney Kristi Wooden said the county has options if Trinity Town Center does not pay the $35,000, including withholding certificates of occupancy when the project is completed.

As the Times has reported, Planes and his companies have faced lawsuits on other projects as well, including the construction of the private school he owns, St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian School in Tarpon Springs.

Also, Planes and his wife have been sued in federal court by former employees of a veterinary clinic he owned on Keystone Road. Those former employees say they routinely received paychecks that bounced, were not paid minimum wage in some cases and were not paid overtime.

But commissioners on Tuesday said they are looking forward to a finished project in Trinity.

"We appreciate Mr. Planes moving forward to create something special," said Commissioner Jack Mariano.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

Pasco approves deal to clean up Trinity Town Center 11/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tom Sawyer with a revolver? Twain house has live 'Clue' game


    HARTFORD, Conn. — Was it Tom Sawyer in Samuel Clemens' billiard room with a revolver?

    In this July 14 photo, actor Dan Russell, left, portraying the character Arkansas from Mark Twain's book Roughing it, responds to a question from 10-year-old Emma Connell, center, of Arizona during a "Clue" tour at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. The tour allows visitors to interact with Twain characters while playing a live-action version of the board game. [AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb]
  2. East Tampa store owner who survived one shooting is targeted again with fatal results


    TAMPA — In the 2011 video, Mahamoud Ibrahim stands behind the counter of his tiny East Tampa convenience store, his back to the surveillance camera meant to discourage thieves.

    A memorial has sprouted in front of the 29th Street Store in East Tampa, where a robber fatally shot owner Mohamoud Ibrahim on July 16. Security experts say small mom-and-pop stores in high crime areas are easy targets for robberies and typically don't have the budgets for extra security measures. [TONY MARRERO/Times Staff]
  3. Pinellas superintendent, School Board pen letter to legislative delegation for help against 'unjust' funds for charter schools


    Because of a recent change in state law, the Pinellas County school district will have to shell out $25 million over five years  -- more funding per student than any other large district in the state -- for charter school construction and maintenance projects, and district officials …

    Pinellas County School Board Superintendent Michael Grego during a School Board meeting on August 25, 2015 at the School Administration Building, 301 Fourth Street SW in Largo.
  4. AARP still waiting for the two Ricks to send voter education videos


    AARP Florida wants to educate St. Petersburg residents on Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker’s views on how to make the Sunshine City more livable.

    It's been a frenetic St. Pete mayor's race so far. Maybe that's the reason AARP hasn't received voter education videos from the campaigns
  5. Photos: Kehlani packs fans into a sold-out Orpheum in Tampa


    R&B singer Kehlani had to postpone a spring show in Tampa due to illness, but it seemed she was no worse for the wear on Thursday, when her make-up show sold out the Orpheum well in advance. Ella Mai and Jahkoy opened the show. Aubrey Wipfli was there snapping photos; click the headline …

    Kehlani performed at the Orpheum in Tampa on July 20, 2017.