Make us your home page
Instagram

Save-A-Lot will open at former Eckerd drug store in Largo

The former Eckerd store sits on the corner of West Bay Drive and Clearwater-Largo Road.

Times files (2006)

The former Eckerd store sits on the corner of West Bay Drive and Clearwater-Largo Road.

Except for a seasonal Halloween superstore, the former Eckerd drug store on West Bay Drive and Clearwater-Largo Road sat virtually shuttered for four years.

Now, Save-A-Lot plans to open a grocery on the site, possibly by the end of the year.

Save-A-Lot expects to spend about $360,000 to convert the 11,200-square-foot building into a grocery, a weekly report by the city said. Most of the changes are minor and include the installation of coolers and freezers, said city community development director Carol Stricklin.

One element of the storefront's long-term vacancy is a bit complicated.

The property is owned by St. Petersburg developer the Sembler Co., which has a lease with Eckerd. That lease was assumed by CVS, which bought Eckerd stores in Florida and Texas.

The Sembler Co. wasn't actively involved in marketing the space because CVS has the lease and makes timely payments, said Greg Sembler, chief executive officer of the company.

"We agreed to acknowledge Save-A-Lot's tenancy because we wanted to see the building occupied," Sembler said.

Save-A-Lot spokeswoman Maureen E. Shannon wouldn't comment on this particular store, but said in an e-mail that Save-A-Lot is always looking for viable locations. The bargain, limited assortment grocery chain operates nearly 1,200 stores nationwide, according to the company's Web site.

The city has been tracking the retail market, which is generally weak, and "grocery uses are pretty strong," Stricklin said.

A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market recently replaced a former Kash n' Karry in the Barclay Square shopping center on Walsingham Road. And, in September, Publix plans to open a revamped grocery at the site of a former Albertsons at East Bay and Belcher Road, according to the company's Web site.

The former Eckerd is in one of Largo's downtown redevelopment areas. So, ultimately, the city of Largo would like to see the site at 100 Clearwater-Largo Road redeveloped as a mixed use project.

Commissioner Harriet Crozier would rather see the site redeveloped to fit the city's vision. But, she said, "I'm glad that it's not going to be vacant for a while."

Commissioner Woody Brown is confident that Save-A-Lot's tenancy won't ruin redevelopment possibilities in the future. An attractive offer will likely be made when someone wants to redevelop the property, he said.

"I'm just curious where the Halloween store's going to go right now," Brown said.

Save-A-Lot will open at former Eckerd drug store in Largo 08/29/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 29, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]