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Roofers work on top of one of the buildings of Main Street Landing with a target opening date in early 2019.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Progress of the Main Street Landing construction project is spurring interest among potential residents and commercial tenants.

“We have had a number of people request information about both the residential units and the commercial spaces,” said Main Street landing’s Gainesville-based developer, Ken McGurn. “The city has also been very helpful in referring potential tenants to our building.”

Crews completed the concrete structure and the exterior finish work is progressing, McGurn wrote in a July 2 email.

“The April and May rains delayed us again along with competing for subcontractors, but now that the building is ‘dried-in’ the pace of work has picked back up,” McGurn observed. In October 2017, McGurn said a shortage of masonry workers was slowing the pace of construction.

Now, however, Main Street Landing is going “gangbusters,” Mario Iezzoni, the city’s economic development director, wrote June 29. “Last week Ken McGurn was in town showing potential tenants some units. We’ve had several inquiries regarding the commercial space.”

The project, which ground to a halt during the Great Recession and remained mostly dormant for nearly a decade, resumed construction last year. McGurn said the project is back on pace for an opening in early 2019.

“Progress is obvious with the concrete structure completed and the exterior finish work progressing,” McGurn said. With the problem of the early spring rain and the shortage of subcontractors in the past, he said, “the building is dried-in the pace of work has picked back up.”

The progress spurred a “surprising amount of interest in the 15 commercial suites,” McGurn said.

“A new brewery has asked to reserve the first two units on River Road and a local health food and nutrition store may take a suite. We have reserved the two corner suites at River Road and Main Street for a coffee shop.

“No one has stepped forward yet but we are hopeful to have one on board before we open,” McGurn said. Cheri Evangelista of Merlin’s Magic Shop and Theater, on Congress Street north of Massachusetts Avenue, has had her eye on Main Street Landing for years, saying the 16-foot-high ceilings could work well for theater productions as well as display space.

“We feel that it is important for people to see other people in a community,” McGurn said. “Thus, we provided areas for outdoor seating for the brewery, the coffee shop and the other shops in the project. That outdoor seating is an important element for the brewery.

The influx of residents could boost Merlin’s, Cheri Evangelista, theater spokeswoman, wrote July 2 in an email, “along with our other loyal patrons who have supported the art of magic throughout the four years we have been open for the theater and 10 years for the magic shop. It will be an upscale New Port Richey, much like the Trinity area, which has upscale retail stores in residential units along with a growing downtown area.”

In addition to the commercial suites, Main Street Landing has 80 residential units. The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will have ceilings 10 to 11 feet high, along with granite countertops, wood floors, and quality finishes.

McGurn said that the “concrete floors and concrete walls are an important element which will reduce the noise from surrounding residents.”

All apartments will have a view of the Pithlachascotee River, the developer said. There is an outdoor kitchen, pool and decks with access to kayaks and canoes for residents to enjoy the river.

McGurn predicted Main Street Landing will become a “standard for others to follow.”

The on-again, off-again Main Street Landing project has been idle most of its 14 years.

But the project is most definitely on again as Onicx Construction officials can see the finish line in sight. McGurn hired Tampa-based Onicx in February 2017 to restart construction.