Major renovation planned for Oldsmar’s Woodlands Square Shopping Center

The Oldsmar City Council approved a development agreement on Tuesday that paves the way for a major renovation of the Woodlands Square Shopping Center.

The Woodlands Square Shopping Center in Oldsmar is set to undergo a major redevelopment after the City Council unanimously approved a development agreement on Tuesday.

The Woodlands Square Shopping Center in Oldsmar is set to undergo a major renovation after the City Council unanimously approved a development agreement on Tuesday.

The Oldsmar City Council approved going forward with a development agreement on Tuesday night that paves the way for a major renovation of the Woodlands Square Shopping Center.

The agreement allows the applicant, Woodlands Square CRP, LLC, to conduct a near complete overhaul of the aging plaza, which was built in the mid-1980s and is home to retail giants Marshalls, Bealls and Office Depot, as well as the AMC Woodlands Square 20 movie theater, the recently added Craft Street Kitchen and several smaller retail shops and restaurants.

According to the plans, a 23,000-sq.-ft. portion of the west end of the plaza, located at the intersection of Tampa and Curlew Roads, will be demolished and replaced with 23,000-sq.ft. of new construction; some tenants will be relocated to other parts of the property, and new ones will be added, including a national grocery store and a 10,500-sq.-ft. retail store in the center of the expansive parking lot.

“They’re going to actually do a facelift of the shopping plaza in some locations,” Oldsmar Planning and Redevelopment Director Marie Dauphinais told the council on Tuesday, adding, “it’s really going to upgrade the shopping plaza.”

The Woodlands Square Shopping Center is located at the intersection of Tampa and Curlew Roads in Oldsmar.

The Woodlands Square Shopping Center was constructed in the mid-80s and features retail giants Marshalls, Bealls and Office Depot.

“Right now, tentatively, there will be a grocery store and another retail center in the middle of the parking lot, and that will have a pedestrian connection from the Marshalls area to Bealls.”

Dauphinais also said the applicant has proposed constructing a pedestrian walkway connecting the plaza to adjacent Canal Park, plus a major redevelopment of the drive access from Tampa Road with landscaping that will significantly upgrade the plaza.

The agreement also includes potential modifications to the wastewater lift station, which is located under the movie theater, as well as utilities maintenance.

Also, the movie theater will stay, but it will be renovated to feature wider aisles, comfortable seating and a dinner & drinks service similar to the CineBistro chain.

After Dauphinais outlined the applicant’s plans for the plaza, a spokesperson for the property’s realtor went into greater detail about the project’s timeline.

“We have an opportunity to secure a grocery store and have them in place…by next season,” Mark Van Dyke of Ram Realty Services said. “So our goal is to have the store built and open for business (by the) end of August (or) September of 2017.”

“Our plan is to actually start demolition of the existing retail building between Bealls to the south and Office Depot to the north right after the first of the year,” he added. “We’ll get through the holiday season, and we plan on demolishing the retail building and then commence construction of the grocery store.”

A Google Maps screenshot of the Woodlands Square Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Tampa and Curlew Roads in Oldsmar.

A Google Maps screenshot of the Woodlands Square Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Tampa and Curlew Roads.

Van Dyke said Bealls would stay where it is, with an upgrade to the building’s façade; however, he said the future of the Office Depot is in doubt due to an expiring lease agreement and the possible merger of the company with fellow office supplies giant Staples.

“We’re talking to them right now about extending the lease,” he said, adding, “If they vacate, we will have two other national tenants secured for that space.”

In unanimously approving the agreement by a 4-0 vote (Vice-Mayor Eric Seidel was absent from the meeting), council members expressed their support for the project.

“I think it’s great,” Mayor Doug Bevis said.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.

“I’m excited,” Council member Dan Saracki added.

After the meeting, the mayor took a moment to elaborate on his thoughts about the project.

“I think it’s a much needed improvement,” Bevis told Oldsmar Connect. “The plaza’s done fairly well considering how dated it is, but the general flow of it needed to be improved and it needed a retooling.”

“This project will continue with the current synergy that Oldsmar has, gearing the plaza towards what millennials and today’s shoppers want ”

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Note: The Council only approved moving forward with a development agreement on Tuesday. The item will have to be finalized and presented to the council multiple times before it is officially approved.

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