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Thursday, Mar 21, 2019
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Cypress Creek retail developer proposes premium outlet mall

WESLEY CHAPEL — Developers of Cypress Creek Town Center have submitted a site plan for a premium outlet mall on the 510-acre development.

The plan is an amendment to a previous site plan that called for a regional shopping center. The internal layout of the buildings, access drives, parking lot and other features have been revised, according to the plan submitted March 25 by project manager Nathaniel Linden.

But the project remains the same in several respects, he wrote, including the master drainage plan; the impervious area; intersection configurations at both State Road 56 and Wesley Chapel Boulevard; the nature of the development as a regional mall; and the size, which is 1.1 million square feet of retail space.

The outlet mall division of Simon Property Group is one of three developers at Cypress Creek Town Center.

The others are the Jacobs Group, which has 50 acres of outparcels that will be developed for retail and restaurant uses, and Tampa-based Sierra Properties, the original developer, which still owns the 40-acre parcel closest to the interstate, which is approved for up to two hotels. Sierra Properties also owns 204 acres on the north side of S.R. 56. The northern parcel is approved for a mix of commercial space, offices, hotels and hundreds of multifamily residential units.

The outlet mall would cover about 57 acres and be phase one of the multi-phase project. A spokeswoman for the Simon Property Group said in November the company would like to start construction this summer and open in 2015 if all goes well. She could not be reached for comment on whether that timeline remains feasible.

The project, a decade in the making, has been mired in legal problems for years.

Controversy over the site arose in 2004 when Pasco County approved the project. The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit in 2007 for construction on the creek’s wetlands, but the agency yanked the permit two years later when torrential rains flooded the construction site and polluted nearby Cypress Creek with muddy water. The creek is a tributary to the Hillsborough River, the main source of drinking water for the city of Tampa.

The Sierra Club sued the Army Corps of Engineers, saying the permit should never have been approved in the first place.

The project had been in limbo ever since, but in November Simon Property Group announced it had received a permit to build from the Army corps.

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Tribune reporters Laura Kinsler and Richard Mullins contributed to his article.

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