Commercial construction

An enormous gasoline tank is prepared to be placed underground Thursday morning in Inverness where a new 7-Eleven gas station and store are being planned. Two of the giant tanks will be underground when construction is complete.

From the west to the east and points in between, there is plenty of commercial construction going on in Citrus County.

The Chronicle is highlighting five projects that are in varying stages of completion. There are more but these are the ones that have been talked about for awhile or are visible from the road. 

Let's start with:


There are three 7-Eleven gas station/convenience stores under construction in Citrus County.

Two are in Homosassa: at 9335 U.S. 19, immediately north of the Walgreens at Shoppes of Sugarmill Woods and another at the northeast corner of West Cardinal Street and U.S. 19.

The other store is on the east side at 1007 U.S. 41 North in Inverness.

— The West Cardinal 7-Eleven should be open by the end of November. Of the three stores, this one is furthest along. It will include a 3,109 square-foot store with six gas pumps and car wash.

— Construction on the Sugarmill location is moving along fast. An opening date has not been announced.

— Work crews tore down the old Bank of America that sat on the Inverness site and the land is being cleared for the eastside 7-Eleven. There has been no date set for opening.

 Coney Island

 Construction on Joe Eder’s Coney Island Drive-Inn in Crystal River will begin soon.

The Crystal River restaurant will be patterned after Brooksville’s Coney Island Drive-Inn, owned by John Lee.

The two buildings on the property — a closed salon and abandoned home — have already been torn down 

Lee said he expects dirt removal to begin the week of Sept. 23 and he is hoping to wrap up construction by Christmas and open at the first of the year.

The eatery, which will serve Detroit-style footlong hot dogs, will  be at the southwest corner of State Road 44 and Seventh Avenue.

Caliber Car Wash

Construction is underway on the new Caliber Car Wash, off State Road 44 in Inverness.

Caliber spokesman Mac McCall said workers are on pace to finish construction around March 1, 2020. 

“Our first location is open in Ocala and we have over 10 other locations under construction across the Southeast,” McCall said. “Each location will employ between 12-18 employees.  We will be active in the community in supporting and sponsoring local philanthropies.”

Wawa in Crystal River

The ‘Wawa coming soon" sign at the northeast corner of State Road 44 and U.S. 19 has been there over two months but, so far, no work yet on the actual building or gas pumps.

Land clearing started over a year ago, soon after the old Fat Boys' Bar-B-Q restaurant was torn down to make way for the new chain.

Construction was supposed to start in late August and wrap up in seven months, Paul Chossim, project manager with RMC Development, said recently.

There's been no word on a new date.


If you’ve driven in downtown Crystal River you’ll notice the construction going on at U.S, 19 and Northeast Third Avenue.

It’s a new Subway and it will replace the existing franchise about 120 feet away at 723 U.S. 19. This Subway will have something not normally seen with this chain: a drive-thru lane.

Tentative opening is the end of the year.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or

(6) comments


The world is changing. Many retirees worked in the factories and corporations of the industrial north in companies that took care of them for a lifetime. That world is nearly gone. The future is this: you must create your own security and cash flow. No one is going to roll into town and do that for you. You have to think for yourself. Start a business. Meet a need in the community. Welcome to the new reality of the future.


What's needed are jobs to keep young people with an education or trade from moving elsewhere. Minimum wage service jobs are OK for students and part time, but there are graduates of College and withlacoochee Technical College who leave Citrus County because there are no employment opportunities. It's more than past due that the so called Economic Development Council starts doing something positive. The following was printed in the Chronical in 2013. It's dated as far as who's who, but nothing has changed as far as I'm concerned with regard to bringing solid businesses into Citrus County:

The Citrus County Economic Development Council heard the good, the bad and the potential during an update on its strategic plan.

Consultant Jeannette Goldsmith told them the county is well positioned with regional partners and can readily associate with Tampa, North Florida counties and Orlando. Her local research has found an excellent environment for small businesses and some people in the county who want to see the kind of growth that will bring high-paying jobs.

But she pointed out the county’s brand is weak.

“There is a real leadership void when it comes to economic development,” she said, adding, “Typically it comes from the private sector. We found it to be lacking in Citrus County. There is also a lack of state-level awareness; Enterprise Florida is not very familiar with Citrus County.”


From a layperson viewpoint, the County does appear to prefer the same old same old way of doing business. There is little vision or leadership to reinvent the County.


More minimum wage jobs, just what we don't need.


A Subway, a 7-Eleven and a car wash. Who cares.

CitrusCo Citizen

Fast food joints, gas stations and car washes, all low-wage, service jobs. So what. Now replace all of the live oaks and other trees that were bulldozed.

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