PINELLAS PARK — This city temporarily lost a grocery store and a gas station when Albertsons closed after selling to Publix last year.
The store, on the northeast corner at Park Boulevard and 49th Street N, reopened last month as a bright new Publix. But the gas station remained closed. That's about to change.
Instead of the kiosk that used to stand on the corner, Pinellas Park residents will get not only a gas station, but also another convenience store.
The store will be on the southwest corner of the property, next to the city's clock tower. The land, about half an acre of the 5-plus-acre site, was bought in December 2008 for $250,000 by Riad Kantar, according to Pinellas County property records.
When Kantar bought the property, it contained the three gas islands and a 90-square-foot kiosk. That has since been razed and the land cleared for the convenience store. Construction is scheduled to start soon and should take just a few months.
City Council members cleared the way for the structure Thursday when they approved two variances for the property.
The first will allow the convenience store to have only 10 parking spaces instead of the 16 required by code. Allowing fewer spaces means there won't be as much concrete covering the ground, leaving more area for landscaping around the property's edges. City staff members said the variance should not cause parking problems because drivers can park in the Publix lot.
Council members also waived requirements for interior landscaping. It will be added to the landscaping on the perimeter of the property.
The change in gas station ownership is the latest fallout from last year's purchase of 49 of the 93 Albertsons stores in Florida. Seventeen of the 22 Albertsons in the Tampa Bay area were part in the deal.
One of those was the Pinellas Park grocery, which Publix revamped and opened last month. It closed its store across the street. Also included was an Albertsons in Seminole. That, too, was redone. It reopened in December and the Publix at Seminole Mall was closed.
Anne Lindberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8450.