Make us your home page
Instagram

Vacant big box stores on U.S. 19 in Clearwater getting new tenants

CLEARWATER — Two big box stores along U.S. 19 that have been empty for a few years finally will see new occupants this summer.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore opens Friday in a former Circuit City store at 24244 U.S. 19 in Clearwater, just north of Sunset Point Road. The store has been empty since 2009.

Just 2 miles up the highway, Dick's Sporting Goods plans to open in August in a former Albertsons supermarket across Countryside Boulevard from Westfield Countryside mall, city officials said. The store sells athletic and outdoor gear and apparel from more than 300 stores nationwide.

"I think it's a testament to the economic viability of the areas they're moving into," Clearwater Planning and Development Director Michael Delk said. "There's been a fair amount of impact from the roadway construction, so it's nice to see new retailers moving into that area."

Both retailers are nationwide chains with other stores in Florida, though this will be Dick's Sporting Goods' first foray into Pinellas County. The sports retail store also has locations in Tampa, Brandon and Wesley Chapel.

The new Ashley Furniture store joins a location in Pinellas Park, as well as stores in Brandon and Wesley Chapel. It will celebrate its grand opening in Clearwater with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday.

Although some businesses have been negatively impacted by major construction on U.S. 19, the environment is now more stable, Delk said. Rent and land prices have fallen, encouraging businesses to reoccupy empty buildings.

"Big box retailers and users have the advantage now in terms of the marketplace," he said.

Large retailers like Ashley Furniture and Dick's Sporting Goods are seeing the slow economy as an opportunity to capture a large share of the market, said Bob Clifford, president of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"It's a great opportunity for a lot of these companies who have weathered the financial woes of the past few years," Clifford said, adding that the local population still needs furniture and sports supplies.

Clifford said he is excited about the economic development occurring in the U.S. 19 corridor, which also includes a Cobb movie theater slated to open at Countryside mall in spring 2012.

The city also has seen growth in other areas, Clifford said, citing the development of hotels in downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach. Delk noted that a new Starbucks Coffee and a Hooters restaurant are planned for Clearwater Beach.

"There's widespread development throughout Clearwater. Would we like to have more? Certainly," Clifford said. "But . . . I think we're seeing some significant movement in the economy upward, and possibly the light at the end of the tunnel now."

Katie Park can be contacted at (727) 445-4154 or kpark@sptimes.com.

Vacant big box stores on U.S. 19 in Clearwater getting new tenants 06/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 7:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.