JD Porter’s family roots in Pasco County go back to the 1940’s.
At one time the Porter’s owned 14,000 acres in what is now Wesley Chapel.
“There was not a street light. No stop lights between USF and up here,” said Porter.
But times have changed and development here rolls on.
Porter said Wesley Chapel’s infrastructure is like no other place in the state.
The cornerstones of the area include the Shops at Wiregrass, The Porter Campus for Pasco Hernando State College, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel and eventually on a 65 acre spot, a Raymond James complex that could employ thousands.
“It’s bringing jobs home. It’s creating an environment that’s really successful for everybody,” said Porter.
Matthew Passardi has seen that success. He’s worked at the GrillSmith at Wiregrass for 9 years.
“It’s gone from with all the different businesses, no hospital. Bruce B. Downs way back in the day used to be all cow pasture. Now seeing everything here it’s actually developed into much more, not a downtown feel, but just a lot more going on,” he said.
There have been the expected concerns over too much growth and traffic problems, but progress continues.
Florida Hospital is spending a $100 million on its expansion. And the Shops at Wiregrass is also adding on more.
More hotels are on the way and a new assisted living facility called Beach House.
Passardi said GrillSmith already added 10% to its work force when the college and hospital opened, and he’s excited for even more growth.
“Keep building up out here, giving more people reason to come out here. Lots of great houses, job opportunities in this area,” said Passardi.
Raymond James officials still haven’t said when construction will begin or when they will open.
But work is underway right now to build the roads that will lead to the complex.