Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Business

Plans for Cypress Creek shopping center include organic grocery

National shopping center developer Regency Centers is planning a 13-store, 240,000-square-foot plaza at Cypress Creek Town Center in central Pasco.

The center, at the northeast corner of State Road 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard (County Road 54) in Lutz, would include a 28,000-square-foot organic grocery store, according to an October site plan illustration circulated within the retail industry. None of the other stores are identified by use.

"Right now, we are going through due diligence and are really at the beginning steps for this project," Eric Davidson, Regency's communications director in Jacksonville, said via email. "I can tell you that we are very excited for the site and what it will eventually become."

He did not identify any of the potential tenants, nor specify when construction could begin.

Organic grocers Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market operate some stores measuring near or exactly 28,000 square feet. Sprouts, however, is listed as a potential tenant in a 29,474-square-foot store proposed as an addition to the Groves of Wesley Chapel, 4 miles to the north, near the Interstate 75 interchange at CR 54. The proposed store is identified on a June 2015 site map for the Groves' leasing agent, Genesis Real Estate Advisers of Georgia, but that doesn't make it a certainty. Four proposed stores, including Kohl's and Total Wine & More, listed on the Groves' 2014 site plan dropped off its 2015 map.

Whole Foods, meanwhile, has signed leases for 111 stores to be developed through 2021, according to the company's final quarterly report of the 2015 fiscal year. The numbers include both the traditional Whole Foods stores and its new smaller, value-oriented stores called 365 by Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods recently announced a store for Fort Myers and has five others in development in Florida, but none have been identified for Pasco County, said Briana Madrid, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods. The company announces its new stores in its quarterly earnings report.

"Personally, I'm thrilled" about an organic grocery, said Hope Allen, president and CEO of the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, who had seen the Regency Centers map. "I definitely will shop there. It's very much needed in our community, and I think our demographics lend itself to having that additional option."

Those demographics show nearly 91,000 people in households with average incomes of more than $85,000 living within a 10-minute drive of the property, according to Colliers International, the leasing agent for the rest of the Cypress Creek Town Center.

The Regency Centers proposal includes the unnamed organic grocery sitting at the high-profile corner of SR 56 and CR 54, with three stores, ranging from 4,800 square feet up to 27,000 square feet, immediately to the north along CR 54. The northern end of the parcel includes four more stores measuring between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet. The map also shows four out-parcels, at 6,000 to 12,000 square feet, amid 1,083 parking spaces.

Regency Centers owns all or portions of 322 centers nationally, most of them grocery-anchored neighborhood or community shopping plazas. Its nearby properties include the 270,000-square-foot Bloomingdale Plaza in Brandon, anchored by Publix and Walmart; the Suncoast Crossings center near the Suncoast Parkway and Spring Hill Drive interchange in Hernando County, featuring Target and Kohl's, and the Publix-anchored Northgate Square on Van Dyke Road in northern Hillsborough County.

The Cypress Creek Town Center land is owned by Sierra Properties. Regency Centers' proposal matches chairman and CEO Bob Sierra's previous comments about developing a 240,000-square-foot shopping center on the 25 acres at the corner of the property. Sierra said he didn't expect the center's stores to open until sometime in 2017.

"They're doing their due diligence; they have a lease," Sierra said of Regency Centers. "It's a great location, and there is a lot of interest. It just takes a long time."