Sprouts begins the supermarket sweepstakes in Pasco's Trinity-to-Odessa corridor

Sprouts Farmers Market opens July 31. It’s one of five new or planned stores for a 9-mile stretch of SR 54 in Pasco.
MICHELE MILLER |  Times
Sprouts Farmers Market is set to open its first store in Pasco County on Wednesday, July 31 at 8840 Strength Ave. in the Village at Mitchell Ranch at State Road 54 and Little Road in Trinity. The store is one of five grocery stores planned or under construction along the SR 54 corridor from Trinity to near the Suncoast Parkway.
MICHELE MILLER | Times Sprouts Farmers Market is set to open its first store in Pasco County on Wednesday, July 31 at 8840 Strength Ave. in the Village at Mitchell Ranch at State Road 54 and Little Road in Trinity. The store is one of five grocery stores planned or under construction along the SR 54 corridor from Trinity to near the Suncoast Parkway.
Published July 22

TRINITY — Get ready for supermarket sweepstakes.

The State Road 54 corridor from Trinity to near the Suncoast Parkway could become home to as many as five new grocery stores with the activity kicking off July 31 when Sprouts Farmers Market opens its first store in Pasco County. The 30,000-square-foot store will anchor the Village at Mitchell Ranch at the southwest corner of SR 54 and Little Road in Trinity.

Next up is Publix. It is scheduled to open next month on the north side of SR 54 in the Starkey Ranch Town Square near the intersection with Gunn Highway.

Publix also acquired about 9 acres for nearly $6.8 million in March to become part of the South Branch Ranch development near the northwest corner of SR 54 and the Suncoast Parkway in Odessa. The commercial component is now called Preserve Marketplace, and the anchor will be a GreenWise Market, Publix’ response to the specialty green grocers like Sprouts and Earth Fare.

Land owners and developers also have filed preliminary plans for a pair of Aldi stores, one in Trinity Lakes Crossings on the south side of SR 54 and another as an outparcel on the newly christened Cypress Ranch, a planned 164-acre development south of SR 54, a mile east of the parkway in Lutz.

They will join an existing Publix store which opened three years ago at the Shoppes at Trinity Lakes, abutting Trinity Lakes Crossings.

It means an approximately 9-mile stretch of highway will be home to a half-dozen grocery stores if all the plans come to fruition: Two full-service Publix, two specialty organic grocers and two no-frills Aldi stores that also appeal to green grocery fans.

“I think the variety is a positive. Variety is really what people have been asking for,’’ said Realtor Dan Roberts of Trinity. “And the demographics prove the grocery demand.’’

Indeed. The corridor is home to the ongoing housing construction boom at Mitchell Ranch, Trinity, Asturia, Starkey Ranch, South Branch Ranch and Bexley Ranch. Demographic data from the leasing agents at the Village at Mitchell Ranch shows nearly 51,000 people with household incomes above $70,000 living within 3 miles of the Sprouts location.

Likewise, Sembler, which is leasing the Preserve Marketplace in Odessa, notes new-home construction in the vicinity more than doubled from 2015 to 2017. One of the GreenWise store’s neighbors will be the global headquarters for TouchPoint Medical and its 228 new jobs that are projected to come in 2020.

Sprouts Farmers Market, headquartered in Phoenix, will be the first national organic grocer in west Pasco. Earth Fare opened earlier this year in the Cypress Creek Town Center in central Pasco.

Sprouts operates more than 325 stores in 21 states. Its Trinity store is scheduled to open at 7 a.m. July 31, and the first 200 shoppers receive 20 percent discounts on their total purchases.

Roberts, who administers a Facebook page called "Trinity Growth and Development,'' said his aunt and uncle are fans of the store.

“They are anxiously awaiting the opening,’’ he said.

Contact C.T. Bowen at ctbowen@tampabay.com or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.

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