ST. PETERSBURG — Discount grocery store Aldi and Thorntons, a gas station with a high-end convenience store, are scheduled to open within a year at 1301 34th St. N, according to a developer buying the property.
Belleair Beach-based Win Development is planning the retail project on 6 acres in front of the Times Publishing Co. printing plant. It is buying the land from Times Publishing, the parent company of the Tampa Bay Times, for $3.8 million.
Win is in talks with restaurants, both sit-down and fast-casual, and cellphone companies about opening there, too, according to Jesse McInerney, who works with the developer.
"Quite a few retailers are interested," he said, adding that nearby shopping centers on the busy street are mostly full.
The site will have space for four retailers. The Aldi store will be 15,000 square feet, and the Thorntons convenience store will be 4,400 square feet with 12 gas pumps.
Thorntons competes with RaceTrac and Wawa, with much more than gas and snacks. For example, the chain offers coffee made from beans ground in the store with about 15 flavorings and toppings, including fresh whipped cream. It also sells a variety of sandwiches and salads that are prepared daily.
Aldi, which has several stores in the Tampa Bay area, including one at 2900 34th St. S, uses a no-frills model to keep prices low. Products are often stacked in boxes, shoppers bring their own bags and pay a 25-cent deposit for grocery carts.
McInerney hopes to break ground on the project in November.