The City of Tarpon Springs and DDA Development have broken ground on the extension of Meres Boulevard as part of the new apartment community, Icaria on Pinellas, within the Meres Town Center. A ceremonial groundbreaking took place this morning.
The extension of Meres Boulevard will create the city’s only continuous east-west evacuation route from the Gulf of Mexico to US 19. It also provides greater access from US 19 to the southern area of the city, enhancing access to AdventHealth North Pinellas and the surrounding medical and retail centers. The road currently runs on the east from US 19 to Disston Avenue, and on the west from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pinellas Trail. The extension will complete the 0.4 mile gap.
“This is a project the city has been waiting on for a long time, and we are excited to see it beginning,” says Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos. “The extension provides greater visibility for our hospital and will help our businesses grow in this area,” he added.
The planned extension dates back to 2008, when the 17-acre mixed use, multi-phase Meres Town Center project began. The first phase, completed in 2011, included a grocery store and adjoining retail complex. The economic downturn affected the second phase residential portion, and the project stalled.
With the improving economy, the project reignited in 2016, and in 2018 construction began on the $40 million, 236-unit Icaria on Pinellas apartment community. The Icaria project triggered an agreement made in 2008 requiring completion of the Meres extension prior to obtaining certificates of occupancy for the apartments.
John Schilling of DDA Development remarked, “We’re excited to be involved in this important project for Tarpon. The road extension will benefit our new residents at Icaria on Pinellas as well as the wider community and could become a catalyst for future development in this part of the City.”
The final phase of the Meres Boulevard extension is 0.4 miles, which will complete the 1-mile extension of Meres Boulevard connecting Alt-19 to US 19. It is being constructed as a two-lane road with a turning lane mid-way across. The perimeter will be landscaped and retention ponds will be sodded. It is expected to be completed in the Spring.
For more information, contact Karen Lemmons, City of Tarpon Springs, 727-943-4932, or Amber Brinkley, Kippen Communications 727-466-7695.