PINELLAS PARK – A new 109-unit townhouse development will be partially built on the site of the former Pinellas Park Mall that will soon be resurrected as the Shoppes at Park Place.
The townhouses will be in addition to several other developments in the works, including a 3,000-unit Gateway project on land between Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg.
John H. Sabo, director of development for Clearwater-based BoulderVenture, which is rebuilding the mall, did not return numerous telephone calls for comment.
The mall project started last year on the site of the old Pinellas Park Mall, which was originally built in the 1970s. Although it boasted several major anchors, such as Montgomery Ward, Dillard’s and JCPenney, and later became an outlet, the old mall struggled financially.
It also was known as Parkside Mall and was razed to make way for about 20 stores, mostly restaurants, that are expected to open later this year.
A movie theater already has opened on the property.
About half of the new shops are restaurants. Others range from Sam’s Club to McDonald’s to a new house of worship, St. Antiochian Church.
One of the anchor stores, Target, will hold a job fair later this month to fill several hundred positions.
City Manager Michael B. Gustafson said the new housing and mall are welcome entities “to a city that is enjoying great prosperity.”
“Pinellas Park is in a boom,” Gustafson said. “The new construction can only make it a better place to live.”
He said the City Council will be presented later this month with a redevelopment plan to spur further growth.
Gustafson said another strip mall is being planned for the area of U.S. 19 across from Wal-Mart.
“Developers from all over are requesting information about Pinellas Park,” he said. “Just recently we heard from a Tennessee group that is interested in building on Park Boulevard.”
New job possibilities at the Shoppes mall range from a low of 600 to more than 1,200. Amended figures over the past six months brought it to about 1,000.
“Combining residential and mall property is the latest lifestyle trend,” Gustafson said. “Busy people will walk to the mall just like people did years ago to neighborhood stores.”
Gustafson said Park Station is the centerpiece of Park Boulevard development. Some buildings have been renovated while others were razed to make way for new stores.
Many older homes, too, are being revitalized and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.