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Grand opening heralds Tarpon development restart

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TARPON SPRINGS -

At this time last year, the site of Callista Cay looked like many other developments that fell victim to the past decade’s collapsed housing market and recessed economy.

Cleared, prepped lots and some signs of construction gave an impression of progress, until realized that the view had remained static for years.

Last Friday marked the latest step in Callista Cay’s revival under an owner who took over after the project stalled. A grand opening and ribbon cutting highlighted what’s been happening since London-based Global Real Estate Group purchased the property for about $2 million.

Callista Cay is one of eight previously abandoned housing developments in Tarpon Springs that have gotten back on track in the past year. The 5-acre site is on Meres Boulevard, just north of the Tarpon Springs Municipal Golf Course. It is on a canal system that connects to Whitcomb Bayou.

Prior to the takeover, only a single six-unit townhouse building had been erected. That happened in 2009. The site plan calls for 68 units, and 58 boat-dock spaces on the canal.

All six of those aforementioned townhomes are now complete, as are all 29 double-use wet slip docks, the swimming pool, landscaping and walkway that loops around the U-shaped community.

Speaking Monday by telephone from Britain, Global Real Estate Group’s director, Simon Myers, said the project made for an ideal and attractive business opportunity.

“It ticked all the boxes for us,” he said, noting what the finished project will have to offer in conjunction with its geographic proximity to Tampa and the Pinellas County beaches. “We have the expertise, we have the management structure and we have the cash, so we identified an opportunity which we thought was very unique.”

Myers, who was at last Friday’s ribbon cutting, said two of the six finished units have sold. In total, 15 units have been reserved and many are coming from investors as far afield as China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. “It’s been really well received around the world, this project.”

Global Real Estate Group’s goal, though, Myers added, is to strike a balance.

“We’re conscious of not selling completely to investors. We want to make sure this is an owner-occupied community as much as possible.”

Following Friday’s grand opening of Callista Cay, the development company’s strategy is to attract as many pre-sales as possible to continue with the next phase of construction in June.

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