Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After dispute, new Walmart opens in Valrico

VALRICO — The property adjacent to the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library that caused local residents great consternation and eventually led to a 2013 lawsuit saw its first store open this week.

The new Walmart Supercenter opened at Crest Pointe Towne Center on Wednesday with Raymond, the Rays mascot, giveaways, cake and specials.

"I came to see out of curiosity," said local resident and mother of two Gisel Guzman, who arrived at 7:30. "I live in Walmart. You know how it is when you leave your kids early in the morning. You can't go anywhere else. This is your mall, the 'Valrico Mall.'"

Walmart will anchor the 43.5-acre project and replace an older Walmart at 949 E Bloomingdale Ave., which transferred employees to the new location.

Other confirmed tenants for the property at 2140 Bloomingdale Ave. include Starbucks, Wendy's and Chick-fil-A. The site also includes more than 14 acres reserved for residential housing.

Before construction began in 2015, residents protested against Redstone Development, citing a concern for increased traffic in an already congested area as well as a claim that the county violated its own rules and policies in approving development of the site.

In 2014 the residents, collectively known as Coordinated Active Neighborhoods for Development Organization, settled their lawsuit against the developer and the county.

George Niemann was part of that effort. He still lives locally and frequents the area, but says he will not patronize the new Walmart because of the way it came about.

"I'm very disappointed with the final outcome of this issue," Niemann said. "It's obvious that our community did not want a shopping center of this type.

"Our county government has failed us miserably with this supersized, high-density and high-impact development that won't improve our quality of life one iota. Out of protest, I don't plan to shop at that Walmart. I would love it if the community did likewise."

Walmart, which paid $4.6 million for approximately 26 acres at the intersection of Lithia Pinecrest Road, said the new 24-hour store created approximately 200 new jobs and will offer groceries where the original location on Bloomingdale Avenue did not.

"We are excited to open just in time for the start of spring, and provide our friends and neighbors with everything they need to start the season off right," said Peter Peck, store manager.

The store offers a full pharmacy and a free store pickup service for items ordered on Walmart.com. Visit them online at facebook.com/walmart941.

SHARE YOUR NEWS: If you have an item for Everybody's Business, contact Arielle Waldman at awaldman@tampabay.com.

After dispute, new Walmart opens in Valrico 03/09/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 2:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  2. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs

     

  3. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  4. Linkin Park cancel tour, including Tampa concert, after death of singer Chester Bennington

    Blogs

    This news is not a surprise, but it is now official: Linkin Park has canceled their upcoming North American tour following this week's death of singer Chester Bennington.

    Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
  5. Nurse backs Kriseman in St. Pete mayor's race

    Blogs

    Council member Karl Nurse has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman, left, is seen with Karl Nurse in the combination of two images.