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Commercial use okayed for Livingston-SR 54

A Tampa company wants to build a bank, fast-food restaurant and restaurant/convenience store on the corner.

Gas stations, fast-food joints and shopping strips were first lured to the corner of U.S. 41 and State Road 54.

Then it was the turn of Collier Parkway and SR 54 to sprout bricks and mortar.

Now it looks as though Land O'Lakes is getting its third hot corner at SR 54 and Livingston Road.

Pasco County development officials have given approval for a Tampa company to develop the southwest corner of the intersection, across Livingston from a 7-Eleven store.

J.E.M. Investments Ltd. is proposing three buildings on 9.5 acres: a bank, a fast-food restaurant and a combination fast-food restaurant/convenience store.

Company officials, who didn't return several calls from the St. Petersburg Times on Friday, have yet to specify the future tenants.

The Land O'Lakes Chamber of Commerce has been left in the dark about the plans, too

"I hadn't even heard," said chamber executive director Marjorie Walsh. "That one hadn't even been proposed to me."

A model for at least one of the proposed businesses already exists in the combination Split Second minimart, Amoco gas station and Pizza Hut at Collier Parkway and SR 54.

The development site, covered with trees, brush and wetlands, is already zoned neighborhood commercial.

As proposed, the develop-ment would have 150 parking spaces and two entrances west of Livingston on SR 54.

The extra traffic probably won't help matters at the intersection, one of the most accident-prone in Land O'Lakes. That's on top of the new All Kids Academy, which will host as many as 200 children, scheduled to open later this year just south of the 7-Eleven.

Livingston is a favorite of commuters, being one of the main roads connecting Land O'Lakes with Tampa.

Left turns onto Livingston from SR 54, made without the benefit of a turning lane, can be hairy with cars approaching at 55 mph or faster.

Traffic officials expect problems to diminish with the upcoming widening of SR 54.