PORT RICHEY — Demolition work at the Gulf View Square mall signals the start of a project to tear down vacant storefronts and replace them with apartment buildings.

Stockpile and Site Demolition Plans were filed in May with Pasco County regulators for Project Number 18019, better known as the Gables at Gulf View proposal for the mall at 9409 U.S. 19.

Coastal Design Consultants, based in New Port Richey, prepared the technical drawings that list the developer as B&Z Port Richey LLC, based in Miami. Messages were left July 5 with CDC and Dorvidor Property Management Group in Miami but they had not responded before press time.

In 2013, Dorvidor purchased Park Place Port Richey Apartments, a 420-unit complex on Embassy Boulevard, across U.S. 19 from the mall, according to the company website.

Rebecca Law shared some of her snapshots of demolition before reporting to work at a mall store. “It is a welcomed sight to see the revitalization of the mall starting,” Law wrote in a June 30 email.

Gregory B. Wegener, project engineer and manager of Coastal Design Consultants, met with officials May 22 to discuss Gables at Gulf View, according to Tambrey Laine, Pasco County communications manager.

The plan would demolish two parts of the existing mall to construct about 410 apartments, Wegener wrote in a memo to county staff on 6.3 acres of the former Macy’s store and 12.24 acres of the former Penney store site. The entire project would cover about 34 acres, a diagram from the developer shows, with Gulf Coast Realty LLC controlling 15.5 acres.

The apartment buildings would go up northwest of Salt Springs Road, along the western portion of the mall. JC Penney closed its store in 2014 while Macy’s pulled out of the mall in 2015.

Since the mall carries a Development of Regional Impact designation that might require the county to amend land use or zoning classifications. The apartments would need the county to approve a conditional use permit for multifamily development.

Issues for discussion included substandard roadway study, utilities, site layout, drainage, mobility fees, concurrency, access management, wetland or environmental assessment study, fire protection, trees, landscaping, buffering and signage, Wegener wrote in a memo.

Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation opened Gulf View Square in March 1980 with Belk-Lindsey and Montgomery Ward as its anchor stores, followed by Maas Brothers in August 1981 and Sears in July 1982. DeBartolo was one of the pioneers of mall development.

Simon Property Group, based in Indianapolis, operated the mall for years, before selling the property in 2017. Simon Property Group bought DeBartolo Realty Corp. in 1996.

Gulf Coast Realty LLC and Namdar Realty Group, based in Great Neck, N.Y., were listed on the February 2017 transfer, Pasco County Property Appraiser records show.

The taxable value is listed as $7,854,075, although that would exclude many of the out-lots encircling the mall property.

Demographic information from Namdar shows 192,569 people live within five miles of the mall site, with 86,398 households in the area. Average income is $49,089.