New Tampa shoppers used to taking day trips to bargain hunt at Premium Outlets in Ellenton might soon find themselves saving big in the gas department.
"They said they're ready to go as soon as they get the (Army Corps of Engineers) permit," Pasco County Administrator John Gallagher told the Times. "They wanted to know if they would face any obstacles here. I said there would be no obstacles here."
The 140-acre site, which is owned by the Richard E. Jacobs Group, has stood at the center of an environmental controversy since its owners received permitting to build the Cypress Creek Town Center in 2007. Those permits were challenged by the Sierra Club in 2008 and development work on the site has been at a virtual standstill ever since.
If the Simon Property Group is successful in its bid for permitting, it plans to build on about 50 of the site's 100 developable acres. The Jacobs Group still intends to build on the other half.
In order to develop the site, both ownership groups must gain permitting from the Army Corp of Engineers. They also must address an appellate court ruling that ordered protections be considered for the eastern indigo snake population that lives on the site. The indigo snake is a threatened species.
In December 2011, the Jacobs Group vowed that it wasn’t giving up on the site. Officials from the company recently reiterated that stand.
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