Make us your home page

Big new Walgreens to land alongside Clearwater Beach roundabout

This rendering depicts the two-story Walgreens being built. It’s a new “well experience” store.

Courtesy of Joseph Kokolakis

This rendering depicts the two-story Walgreens being built. It’s a new “well experience” store.

CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Beach roundabout is some prime real estate. Thirteen years after it was created, it remains the grand entrance to one of the region's most-visited beaches.

Ringing the roundabout are a number of iconic brands and locations. There's a Hooters and a Crabby Bill's. There's a Ron Jon Surf Shop and a Wings Beachwear store. There's Pier 60 Park and the Clearwater Beach Marina.

Soon to join them: a new Walgreens. That's what's being built at a construction site on the northeast side of the roundabout.

Some people are less than excited about the giant pharmacy chain occupying this spot. "Just what we need — another Walgreens," moaned Clearwater Beach resident Jonas Garfield, 62.

But wait! It won't be just any Walgreens.

First of all, it'll be big — a two-story, nearly 23,000-square-foot store, according to property owner and developer Joseph Kokolakis. That's nearly twice the size of a standard Walgreens.

Also, it will be a fancy new kind of Walgreens.

The country's largest drugstore chain has begun revamping the look and feel of its retail outlets by offering fresh fruits and vegetables, expanding health care services and spiffing up cosmetics counters. It's launching "well experience" stores around the country. The new layout creates a space on the sales floor where a pharmacist can interact directly with customers.

"It's a new store concept we're bringing to Florida. It starts in the pharmacy, where we're bringing the pharmacist out from behind the counter to a front desk area," said Walgreens spokesman Robert Effinger. "There will be more groceries and healthy food options."

The new store is slated to open in late 2013 and will replace the existing Walgreens at 660 S Gulfview Blvd. on south Clearwater Beach, he said. The new store won't be the only chain pharmacy in that immediate area; there's a CVS around the corner on N Mandalay Avenue.

The city's Community Development Board approved plans for the building last April, concluding that its design complied with the city's master plan for beach redevelopment, called Beach by Design.

The store is under construction at 400 East Shore Drive, formerly a parking lot and a one-story apartment building.

Beach business officials are welcoming it with open arms.

"We're thrilled to see all the development that's taking place on the beach, including the Walgreens," said Darlene Kole, executive director of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Walgreens has already built or converted about 200 of its stores to "well experience" stores, including dozens of locations in Chicago and Indianapolis. Many of them have the following features:

• Groceries, including fruits and vegetables, meats, prepared salads, sandwiches and wraps.

• Enhanced beauty department displays featuring prestige and niche cosmetic, skin care and hair care brands.

• Health care clinics staffed by nurse practitioners.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to

Big new Walgreens to land alongside Clearwater Beach roundabout 12/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 5:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza


    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  2. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code


    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  3. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  4. Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

    Real Estate

    The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge's order tossing out the sale.

    John Houde, left, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground, in August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde's allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back. 
  5. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA


    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]