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  1. Pasco

Former Tampa baseball stars Tino Martinez, Fred McGriff selling Pasco County land to make way for new homes

DR Horton is proposing to build apartments and townhomes on property along Oakley Boulevard in Wesley Chapel that is owned by Tino Martinez, Fred McGriff and others. C.T. BOWEN | Times
Published Jul. 8

WESLEY CHAPEL — Amid Major League baseball's all-star week, a pair of former all-stars are poised to divest themselves of holdings in Pasco County.

DR Horton, the nation's largest home-builder, has filed preliminary plans to develop 366 apartments and 72 townhomes on vacant land along Oakley Boulevard, which runs north from Wesley Chapel Boulevard (County Road 54) west of the Interstate 75 interchange. The parcels include property owned by companies controlled by Tampa natives and retired all-stars Tino Martinez and Fred McGriff.

"They were long-term holds, obviously, for that potential growth corridor,'' said James Krivacs, the agent for both players.

The 10.5 acres owned by Martinez' Primera Base Inc. has its own baseball lineage. Previous owners include Harold Reynolds, a two-time all-star who is an analyst on the MLB Network, former Yankee great and current Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, and McGriff.

Primera Base acquired its land at 5921 Oakley Boulevard from McGriff's company in 2002 for $892,000, according to county records. The Pasco County Property Appraiser currently values the vacant commercial land at more than $2.15 million. The property's asking price was $6.3 million, according to its online listing. A for-sale sign featuring Martinez' name — he also is a real estate agent — sits on the land.

McGriff also recently sold his estate in Avila in Lutz. His company, Erick David Land Corp., named for the ex-player's son, owns two parcels along Oakley Boulevard totaling 54 acres. The DR Horton proposal also includes two 7-acre lots owned separately by Second Base Holdings LLC and Calvary Corporation.

DR Horton plans to build on the five contiguous parcels totaling nearly 79 acres while leaving commercial out-parcels to be developed by others, according to its request for a pre-application meeting with Pasco County planners.

Though the New York Yankees considered moving their spring training site to Wesley Chapel in the early 1990s, the players' investments were unrelated to the Yankees' flirtation with Pasco County, said Realtor Larry Guilford of Dade City, who sold some of the property.

Guilford and two other developers built Oakley Boulevard in the late 1980s to provide access to the land sitting between Old Pasco Road and I-75. Cracker Barrel became the first commercial development there in the early 1990s, followed by a trio of hotels and an Outback Steakhouse. The developers sold the road to Pasco County in the late 1990s, and the builders of The Grove at Wesley Chapel shopping plaza widened and improved the route as part of its development.

The DR Horton proposal continues the explosion of multi-family housing on and near the State Road 54/56 corridor, including ongoing construction by Equity Resources LLC of the 248-unit Parc at Wesley Chapel complex at nearby Old Pasco Road.

The SR 54/56 corridor east of U.S. 41 is considered part of the Tampa Northeast market that has 800 units under construction, according to Real Data, a North Carolina-based research firm.

The firm's most recent report in May predicted continued strong demand in the Tampa metro market for apartments with average monthly rents growing 1.7 percent over the prior six months to $1,254. Vacancy rates hovered around 4 percent.

Contact C.T. Bowen at ctbowen@tampabay.com or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.

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