First Watch coming to Bay Arbor Place in Oldsmar

The Oldsmar City Council recently approved a site plan amendment that paves the way for a developer to build a First Watch restaurant at the Bay Arbor Place plaza at 3689 Tampa Road. (Screenshot credit: HSI Engineering/YouTube)

The Oldsmar City Council recently approved plans for a developer to build a First Watch restaurant at the Bay Arbor Place plaza on Tampa Road.

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the five city council members unanimously approved a major amendment to the site plan that had originally been approved for the 8-acre parcel, calling for a bank to be built on the property.

However, following a recent change in the land-use and zoning the applicant, 3687 Tampa Road Crossings, LLC, proposed constructing a 3,500-sq.-ft. First Watch restaurant on the east side of the development, which is currently a vacant grassy area.

“Originally it was slated for a 3,500-square-foot bank, now the applicant is proposing to construct a 3,500-square-foot restaurant,” Marie Dauphinais, planning and redevelopment director, told the council.

A Google Maps screenshot of the Bay Arbor Place plaza on Tampa Road. The First Watch restaurant would be constructed on the eastern edge of the 8-acre parcel.

Daupinais explained the area in question is the only portion of the property that is not developed and that restaurants are a permitted use in the area. She said the proposed deign meets the architectural standards for the Tampa Road Corridor.

She added the eatery is breakfast and lunch only, meaning it would be closed by 3:00 p.m. The project would add 14 parking spaces to the property.

“There were some concerns about parking when they development was initially approved,” she said. “The applicant now proposes to add 14 additional parking spaces, so there will be a net gain of around 278 parking spaces for the project.”

After Dauphinais recommended approval of the amended site plan, the council discussed the proposal.

“I would say I’m very excited about this,” Council member Gabby McGee said. “It’s always great to have more breakfast and brunch options.”

She added, “First Watch is very popular. There’s a ton of healthy and organic options and juices and salads. They’ve come a long way.”

An architectural rendering of the proposed First Watch restaurant at Bay Arbor Place in Oldsmar (City of Oldsmar)

Council members Jerry Beverland and Eric Seidel said they were in favor of the proposal because the restaurant wouldn’t cause any additional traffic or parking concerns at night.

“Because of the fact that it closes at 2:30, it’s not going to have any impact on the parking, I don’t think,” Seidel said.

“I love First Watch!” Vice-Mayor Dan Saracki said. “I can’t wait!”

Mayor Doug Bevis disclosed that because he lives behind the Bay Arbor complex, he has concerns about the additional traffic at the plaza, especially if First Watch were to close.

“Although we all just said we love First Watch, there’s no guarantee that’s going to be there for the duration,” he said. “What would happen if something else came in as a restaurant with breakfast lunch and dinner, a bar, and everything else?”

Dauphinais said that would be up to the property management to deal with.

Bay Arbor Place is located at 3689 Tampa Road in Oldsmar.(Screenshot credit: HSI Engineering/YouTube)

“I think the property manager, that would be their decision,” she said, noting they could encourage management to utilize valet parking or other solutions should it get to that point.

Bevis also expressed concern about people parking along the entrance road to his neighborhood behind the development and other traffic woes.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.

“An increase in traffic is definitely something that we’ve got to be conscious of, and as great as First Watch is, there may be something else that wanted to go in there,” he said.

“My concern is really over the volume of traffic there. As long as the landlord is willing to address it if it becomes a problem.”

Dauphinais said the City Attorney could build a clause into the development agreement that would hold the property manager or owner responsible for solving future parking issues, though Seidel and Saracki said they didn’t feel that step was necessary.

Ultimately the council voted 5-0 in favor of the amendment, minus the parking condition.

After the vote, Bevis said he was fine with the omission of the parking condition.

“I’m just glad we had the dialog,” he said.

“It will take care of itself it’s an issue.”

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