Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Business

Nation’s first Crystal Lagoon to open in spring 2018 in Wesley Chapel

RECOMMENDED READING


WESLEY CHAPEL – Spring break could mean a new state-of-the-art water amenity for swimmers, paddle boarders and sunbathers in central Pasco County.

The nation’s first Crystal Lagoon is scheduled to open in early spring 2018 in the Epperson development in Wesley Chapel, Metro Development Group announced Tuesday morning.

The revelation came as Metro officials provided journalists with a tour of the 7.5-acre man-made lagoon that already contained the initial pockets of what eventually will be 16 million gallons of purified water.

The water, purchased from Pasco County’s utilities department, will stream through three separate four-inch hoses into the pool that measures more than six football fields long and four-fifths of a mile around. The company can pump 250,000 gallons daily into the pool as it uses water during off-peak consumption for the rest of the county’s water customers. Filling the lagoon is expected to take eight to 12 weeks, said Greg Singleton, Metro Development president.

The Crystal Lagoon is the centerpiece amenity in the 2,000-home Epperson development, at Curley and Overpass roads, about 3 miles north of State Road 54. Epperson is the initial project in the so-called connected city corridor, the first ultrafast gigabit community developed from the ground up. It encompasses 7,800 acres in central and eastern Pasco, about 35 percent of which is owned by Metro, and is expected to become home to 96,000 people over the next five decades if company projections are accurate.

Singleton said the Crystal Lagoon in Epperson represents a $5 million to $10 million investment from the company. He declined to provide a more specific amount for competitive reasons.

"It’s more expensive than we thought, but that’s to be expected when you’re first,’’ said Singleton.

PAST COVERAGE: Metro breaks ground on Crystal Lagoon

Fifty-seven families already have moved into newly built homes in Epperson and Singleton attributed rapid sales to the Crystal Lagoon. He said one home-builder volunteered that it had doubled its sales expectations.

"The lagoon effect is real. We’ve experienced it,’’ said Singleton.

So much so, that the company plans to build more.

Metro already has started clearing land for its Mirada development, just south of State Road 52, that has been approved for 5,800 homes and 900 apartments and will become home to a second Crystal Lagoon in Pasco County.

Singleton said that lagoon could break ground next summer. Metro plans to begin construction of a Crystal Lagoon in the Southshore Bay development in southern Hillsborough in early 2018, Singleton said. The company also plans to build a fourth lagoon in Fort Myers.

Crystal Lagoon announced in October it had hired Olympian Michael Phelps as its brand ambassador. Phelps is scheduled to attend the grand opening of the Epperson Crystal Lagoon, possibly in February.

Contact C.T. Bowen at ctbowen@tampabay.com. Follow @CTBowen2

     
       
Comments
A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

ST. PETERSBURG — Not all sinister toys are as obvious as a Chucky doll. Many present more subtle threats — choking hazards, high lead content, privacy concerns. And as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off, consumer advocates are urging s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

It has been years since Detroit, birthplace of the American auto industry, was a steady producer of the manufacturing jobs that defined it as the Motor City. But its comeback is entering a new phase.The latest milestone came this week, with the annou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

TAMPAIt’s been more than a century since Ybor City’s first public school was demolished on the plot of land now identified as 1311 E Eighth Ave.For the past 22 years, the popular concert venue New World Brewery took up the space and one next door. No...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Barricades reinforce security for holiday events on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront

Barricades reinforce security for holiday events on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront

ST. PETERSBURG — World and national tragedies are changing the city’s approach to security for special events at North Straub Park.With the approach of the holidays, concrete barricades have been erected at a section of the park’s perimeter, where Fo...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Copa Airlines to fly daily nonstop from Tampa to Panama next summer

Copa Airlines to fly daily nonstop from Tampa to Panama next summer

TAMPA — Panama’s Copa Airlines, which four years ago became the first airline to offer service between Panama and Tampa Bay, said it is increasing its nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and Panama City to daily flights starting in Ju...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Despite Hurricane Irma, Florida hit another record high number in tourists visiting the state in the first nine months of this year, according to figures released this week.Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, said 88.2 million visitors came to...
Updated: 11 hours ago
FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday followed through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally, setting up a showdown ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

TAMPA — You can collect $110,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings, but for now you’ll have to make two stops.The David A. Straz Foundation announced Monday it would contribute $10,000 to a reward f...
Published: 11/21/17
Hurricane Irma hurt some Tampa Bay home sales even in October

Hurricane Irma hurt some Tampa Bay home sales even in October

Pinellas County home sales took another hurricane-related hit in October as the rest of the Tampa Bay area bounced back from Hurricane Irma.But while prices in all four counties rose once again, the rate of increase continues to slow. Hillsborough’s...
Updated: 10 hours ago