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Northeast News

Tampa to consider annexing land in New Tampa area

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 20, 2013 at 05:38 AM
TAMPA -

Tampa's residential tax base could get a $110 million shot in the arm if city council approves the annexation of about 150 acres in the New Tampa area.

TaylorMorrison, one of the busiest home builders of the past decade's housing boom, wants to bring land just west of Wharton High School into the city limits.

The property is owned by Busch Junction Enterprises. It includes an additional 20 acres that are already in the city limits.

The site touches Bruce B. Downs Boulevard just north of Wharton, but the developers say access will be off the County Line Road through The Hammocks, a community just south of the Pasco County line.

In documents filed with the city, TaylorMorrison officials says the company plans to build a single-family community targeting “empty nesters” who want to live near their children and grandchildren in New Tampa.

The developer will cater to people who want “smaller lots, but not necessarily smaller homes,” the developer told city officials.

The project would be modeled on one TaylorMorrison built in Lakewood Ranch near Bradenton. The homes in New Tampa would sell for $255,000 to $320,000, the developer said.

The annexation must win approval from Tampa City Council. It's unclear when the council will consider it.

The project is the second one TaylorMorrison has in the works near the city's border with Pasco County.

Last year, the company began work on Arbor Woods, a 222-home gated community just north of the city limits in Wesley Chapel.

The annexation would be the first expansion of Tampa's boundaries since 2006, when the city added 378 acres near Cross Creek Road and Morris Bridge Road, also in New Tampa. That land remains undeveloped.

While the pending annexation will expand the city's tax rolls by 350 or more homes, it also will put more demand on city services, from water and sewer to police and fire.

It could also put more pressure on the city to build a fourth fire station to serve the region's 55,000 residents. The city has a potential station – No. 23 -- on its planning maps for land off County Line Road.

The city lacks the money to build that station and has contracted with Pasco County to help cover emergencies along the shared border with Wesley Chapel. But that may change with the addition of more homes.

“That may become more viable because you're going to have more people there,” Councilman Mike Suarez said.

The annexation will potentially add hundreds of new constituents to the city's District 7, now represented by City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione.

“Where this property is, it only makes sense to be part of the city,” Montelione said.

The site touches Grand Hampton to the north and West Meadows to the south.

Montelione, who co-owns a construction company, said the development has a long way to go still.

TaylorMorrison will need a rezoning and approval of the homes it wants to build. It will also have to spend weeks if not months installing roads, water lines and sewers.

“These projects are long-term projects, and they go very slow,” she said.


kwiatrowski@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7871

Twitter: @kwiatrowskiTBO

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