NEW PORT RICHEY — Like flowers in full bloom in the springtime, numerous construction projects are sprouting up in the West Pasco area.
Economic recovery slowly appears to be taking hold, local leaders believe.
Pasco County last year had the highest number of building permits since 2007. About 30,021 were logged in 2013, compared to 31,721 in 2007. Permits for single-family homes show a similar rebound, with 1,449 last year compared to 1,955 in 2007.
The 2008 financial crisis and resulting recession depressed building activity during the intervening years, county statistics indicate, bottoming out in 2009 with 22,736 permits in all.
In the Port Richey area, crews continue the expansion project on the Rooms to Go store that began with an October groundbreaking. The store remains open during the project. The privately held furniture retail chain demonstrated its faith in Pasco County 22 years ago, when the firm built its first store in the West Pasco area here, company officials said in October.
Now the Seffner-based Rooms to Go is expanding the showroom at 9500 Scenic Drive by about one-third, or 8,600 square feet, regional manager Mark Liotto and store manager Stephen Chick explained.
The Port Richey location started out at 11,000 square feet when it opened in March 1991. Previous expansion boosted the store to 16,000 square feet. Yet the store here often ranked high on the sales charts for the company.
In the Trinity area, the new treatment center of Florida Cancer Affiliates has been taking shape at 3611 Little Road since a November groundbreaking.
FCA is a community-based medical oncology, hematology, and radiation therapy oncology practice. The firm currently operates two locations, 5500 Little Road in New Port Richey and 11373 Cortez Blvd., Suite 200, in Spring Hill.
The new FCA office will feature Elekta Infinity, a highly sophisticated radiation treatment system for cancer that reduces radiotherapy sessions to five minutes or less.
FCA is a partner of oncology care leader Moffitt Cancer Center and affiliated with the US Oncology Network.
The city of New Port Richey is not standing still either.
Crews are building a Waffle House on a 0.51-acre site on the northeast corner of Green Key Road and U.S. 19, Development Director Lisa L. Fierce reports. The site plan was approved last summer for a restaurant with 1,875 square feet.
Meanwhile, Advance Auto Parts is interested in building a store on the northeast corner of Floramar Terrace and U.S. 19, within New Port Richey city limits.
The auto parts chain submitted its preliminary site plan at a March 20 meeting of the city’s Development Review Committee. City officials, however, want more changes to the plan for the site with 1.64 acres.
Another feather in the city’s economic cap is the Magnolia Place senior apartments, at 6715 Congress St. Mayor Bob Consalvo led a Jan. 27 grand opening. The large investment could help boost the New Port Richey economy by some $14 million, Consalvo emphasized.
The nearby Richey Woods continues its major expansion project as well.
Elsewhere, bulldozer operators are prepping a site for Norman’s Boat and RV Storage on Embassy Boulevard at Shoppers Way, about a block east of U.S. 19.
Developer Norman O’Hannesyan plans 138 storage spaces, 76 of them covered, on the plot with 2.65 acres, according to county records.