The 42,000-square-foot former Kash n' Karry in southwest Largo has been a sign of the harsh reality of the stark economic times.
But things are looking up for the once-vacant building.
Scheduled to open as a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on July 15, the store is seeking potential workers. Wal-Mart is looking to hire at least 90 people to staff the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week grocery store.
A hiring center has been opened nearby at 13819-F Walsingham Road. Applications also can be filled out online. Wal-Mart is hiring full- and part-time workers.
"We are excited to add this Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market to Largo and bring good jobs with career opportunities to the area," said Jimmie Nelson, the store's manager.
Largo Mayor Pat Gerard is also pleased with the presence of the new grocery store.
"In these times, any new thing like that is good," Gerard said. "We are excited that they picked that location and our city."
Located in Barclay Square at Walsingham and Indian Rocks roads, the space was once a Kash n' Karry. When Sweetbay Supermarket purchased the chain, it was closed, said Teresa Brydon, Largo's economic development manager.
"It's going into an existing parcel, and when a business comes and retrofits an existing commercial space, it's very positive," Brydon said.
The first Pinellas County Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened in September 2007 on U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park. Another opened in December at N Highland Avenue, just south of Sunset Point Road in Clearwater.
Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets are generally open 24 hours. The store is a grocery and drugstore with a bakery and deli.
Demorris A. Lee can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4174.