PORT RICHEY — The new owner of two shuttered department stores at Gulf View Square mall wants to demolish the former retail outlets and replace them with nearly 400 apartments.
The complex, called Gables at Gulf View, would be on the west side of the mall and include the area now occupied by the former Macy’s and JCPenney stores. It mirrors a national trend of developers trying to reinvigorate former retail space with multi-family or mixed uses taking the place of empty big box stores.
At Gulf View Square, however, it is not the mall’s owners, but a separate company making the investment.
B & Z of Port Richey, a company newly formed by the principals of Dorvidor Management Co. of Miami, purchased the two closed stores, parking lots and a drainage area totaling 34.5 acres in January and February for a combined $3.55 million. The JCPenney store closed in 2014, and Macy’s did likewise in 2015.
The mall is owned by Namdar Realty Group of Long Island, N.Y., which purchased the mall 14 months ago, but has not indicated if it will reinvest in the property.
Representatives for Dorvidor filed preliminary plans last week with Pasco County showing a conceptual map with 384 apartments among 16 separate buildings between Salt Spring Road and Tacoma Drive — the two access routes from U.S. 19 to the mall’s north and south sides.
"While my client is excited about the acquisition, they are still exploring the financial feasibility of the project as proposed,’’ said Dorvidor’s attorney, Clarke Hobby.
"It is our hope that, if this project proves to be financially feasible, this redevelopment project will reinvigorate Gulf View Square mall and specifically encourage its redevelopment with more local-serving retail that would be mutually supportive with my client’s proposed apartment community,’’ he said.
Pasco County, as part of it long-term Harbors redevelopment plan for the U.S. 19 corridor, encouraged past owners of the nearly 40-year-old mall to rebuild the site into a walkable open-air lifestyle center with both residential and commercial uses.
The conceptual plans for the Gables at Gulf View also show retention ponds and a pool and clubhouse amid the 16 apartment buildings that would have one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Apartments closest to the mall would have pedestrian-friendly paths to the shopping center, while units on the western edge will have an unobstructed view of the Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park nature preserve.
‘‘Seeing a new development this far west means there’s some confidence in that area,’’ said Darron Kattan, a multifamily brokerage specialist and managing director of the firm Franklin Street of Tampa.
Dorvidor also owns the nearby Park Place Port Richey apartment complex, close to Embassy Boulevard and U.S. 19, which it purchased in 2013.
Reach C.T. Bowen at [email protected] or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2