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Instead of ribbon, they'll cut board

(ran PC edition)

Five months after buying a 13-acre parcel along State Road 54, Home Depot is expecting to open its new store at the site Wednesday night.

In an event the company calls "Neighborhood Night," Home Depot will open its doors from 6-9 p.m., hoping to attract nearby residents for a sneak peek at the store and a "board cutting," the chain's version of the traditional ribbon cutting, spokesman Don Harrison said Friday.

The store's first full day begins at 6 a.m. Thursday at the corner of SR 54 and Eiland Boulevard.

Harrison said shoppers will notice this 102,000-square-foot store is not like other Home Depot outlets.

While shoppers will still know they are in a Home Depot, the new, prototype edition features a few consumer-friendly touches. Replacing the old concrete floors and fluorescent lights in the warehouse-style stores, the new version features polished floors, softer lighting and a white and beige paint scheme replacing the bright orange.

The store also features an above-average sized garden center.

Home Depot bought the land in August for $1.4-million, county records show. The development is just the first of a spate of building slated for the corner of Eiland and SR 54.

ExxonMobil owns the corner lot, and Tennessee-based Horne Properties holds another 18 acres. Horne officials said last year they expect to build a shopping center at the site, beginning as early as this year, anchored by a grocery store and a clothing store.

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