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Subdivision gets recognition

A look at some of the business issues and people in the news last week, compiled from regional editions of the Times

Timber Pines, the fastest-growing subdivision in Hernando County, has been recognized as among the best "active seniors housing" developments in the nation by the National Association of Home Builders.

This year, Timber Pines will add up to 300 homes and villas (ranging from about $80,000 to $150,000), bringing its residential units to 2,800. Timber Pines added 225 homes last year and has about 900 more to go before the project is complete.

The National Association of Home Builders recognized the community at its annual convention in Las Vegas last month.

A chamber spruces up

BROOKSVILLE _ To project a more polished image of the county to visitors, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce plans to improve the appearance of its three offices during the next six months.

The goal of the work, which will consist mainly of expanding reception areas, improving landscaping and installing more visible signs, is to make the offices more presentable to tourists, said chamber executive director Hal Robinson.

In the last year, Robinson has worked to merge the purchasing and financial operations of the east- and west-side chambers. The two officially merged Jan. 1.

Upgrading the chamber's three offices is the next major task, he said.

"Trying to run a countywide chamber from three little, poorly organized offices was hell," Robinson said last week.

"What we want now is our offices to look as progressive and as attractive as we claim Hernando County is."

Shifts in the food chain

Restaurants come and restaurants go. But around north Pinellas County, people may need a scorecard to keep up.

Here are some recent announcements:

Texas Roadhouse, a steak and ribs restaurant, will call the former Shells seafood restaurant on U.S. 19 in Clearwater home.

A new Shells is to open at Countryside Square by the end of March.

A Houston company plans to open a Mexican restaurant in the former Olive Garden building that has been sitting empty on U.S. 19 south of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.

Ninfa's Mexican Restaurants started 20 years ago and has 30 locations, mainly in Texas, said Steve DiMeo, executive vice president of Ninfa's parent company, RioStar.

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