Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sysco drops plans for Zephyrhills distribution center

ZEPHYRHILLS — A planned food distribution center that would have employed 250 people in Zephyrhills has been scuttled.

Houston-based Sysco Food Services decided not to build the facility, even though it won approval for nearly $5 million in city and county incentives several years ago.

"We're certainly disappointed," said county commissioner Ted Schrader. "That would've been a great employer for east Pasco."

At the time, the incentives package was unprecedented for Zephyrhills and the deal was seen as a major economic development victory for Pasco's housing- and retail-based economy.

Because construction never began on the project, no incentive money changed hands.

Sysco had planned to build the project on a 64-acre parcel near the Zephyrhills airport. It bought the land in September 2008 for $4.3 million. A commercial real estate firm listed the property late last month for $5.5 million.

A Sysco spokesman said the company planned for the facility to handle expected growth in Florida. The sputtering economy upended that growth forecast, and the company decided it could handle its customers with existing distribution centers.

"Unfortunately, that's a by-product of a bad economy," said former commissioner Michael Cox, who helped broker the incentives deal in 2007. "They're in the food business, and people don't go out to eat as much as they do when times are good."

The company had planned to spend $60 million on the 393,000-square-foot facility. Average wages would have been about $55,000 a year.

Early warning signs about the project came in early 2008, when commissioners voted to withhold incentive payments until jobs were filled. At the time, the facility had been delayed and the company refused to say whether it was committed to the project.

Schrader said it might be hard to find another business for the site anytime soon. Tucked next to a rail line, the parcel is ideal for a commercial project but not well suited for retail traffic.

Lee Logan can be reached at or (727) 869-6236.

Sysco drops plans for Zephyrhills distribution center 11/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 6:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.