ZEPHYRHILLS — Commercial real estate in Zephyrhills is "a tenant's dream," consultant Martin Black told city officials Monday night.
Leases cost less than in larger suburban areas. Plus Zephyrhills boasts a folksy feel, airport access, railways and the right demographics for many businesses, he said.
So why aren't people flooding the Zephyrhills area to set up shop?
"You have to create an ambience," said Black, who works for Kimley-Horn and Associates, a consultant hired by the city to update the community redevelopment plan.
The consultant has met with focus groups over the summer to brainstorm ideas for improving the city and attracting more businesses.
Key city areas in need of a revival were identified, as well as ways to improve the appearance of the city entryways on U.S. 301.
Planners discussed the idea of reinvigorating the old downtown theater and luring more foot traffic and upscale and local restaurants.
"I think bringing in a fresh, new perspective is good, especially when you're doing a visionary type of planning," said Todd VandeBerg, the city's director of development.
City Manager Steve Spina said he liked the suggestions, especially the idea of labeling the different corners of the city, such as: Hercules Park Community, Shepherd Park Community, Lake Zephyr Community and the Historic Fifth Avenue Corridor.