1. Business

Lowe's renews plans to build Land O'Lakes store

LAND O'LAKES — The on-again, off-again plan to build a Lowe's home improvement warehouse in central Pasco is back on again.

The North Carolina-based company met with county officials last fall and recently submitted site plans to put a 152,000-square-foot store and garden center on the 42 acres it has owned since 2005, when it paid $2.7 million for the land on the south side of State Road 54 between a county fire station and the Encore RV Park.

The property has several acres of wetlands and is near a couple of large retention ponds owned by the Florida Department of Transportation. It also sits across the street from Village Lakes Shopping Center, which was left partially vacant when Walmart moved to a new store at the apex of Dale Mabry Highway and U.S. 41.

Lowe's, a Fortune 50 company, had said in 2008 that it had planned to open the store in the summer of 2009. It was to have been the bigger version of its two types of stores, akin to a SuperTarget or a Walmart Supercenter. But the housing bust and county rules that were going to require the home improvement giant to pay for a $160 million overpass and interchange on U.S. 41 prompted the company to scrap the plans and put the property up for sale in 2011.

In October, company officials met with county staffers to revive the proposal.

Lowe's now has two stores in Pasco: one in Zephyrhills and the other in New Port Richey. Another is in nearby New Tampa.

A company spokeswoman said the new store is expected to create about 125 jobs.