YEAR IN REVIEW: SouthShore & Brandon says goodbye to Kmart, hello to development in 2018

Restaurants and retail lead the way for prime corridors, including U.S. 301, MLK Blvd. and Bloomingdale Ave.
Published December 27 2018

Look back on the 2018 retail growth in the SouthShore and Brandon area, and it’s easy to see patterns of new and continued development for mom and pops as well as national chains including stores, restaurants and more investing in the area.

Shopping centers were sold, developed and revamped while restaurants and retail options opened everywhere between Seffner’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulvard and Sun City Center’s State Road 674, including and especially Riverview’s U.S. 301 corridor.

From desserts, dancers and dry cleaners to educational outlets and eateries galore, here are a few of the memorable retail changes in the area this year:

Crest Pointe continued to redefine Bloomingdale Avenue with options for clothes, eyes, nails and stomachs, while Brandon saw the closure of the venerable Kmart. That shopping center will now be known as the Collection at Brandon Boulevard and be anchored by Lucky’s Market, a chic supermarket backed by industry giant, Kroger which comes on the heels of Sprouts opening earlier in 2018 in Lithia and starting a bit of a trend toward alternative grocers coming to the area.

“We do see ourselves as competing against conventional grocers and in particular when we expanded into Tampa, we believed we were bringing something that wasn’t offered in Tampa,” said Diego Romero, Communications Manager for the Phoenix-based Sprouts.

Continued growth around the Riverview 14 Theater, which opened in 2017, included the announcement of a Cracker Barrel, Dollar Tree and Extended Stay America Hotel as new tenants for the 30-acre project between I-75 & the Walmart Super Center that serves more than 59,000 households within a 5-mile radius.

The Westfield Brandon mall continued to offer its shoppers fun new retailers such as Lego and unique places to eat such as Mugs ‘N Jugs.

Thrift shoppers were happy to see a new Goodwill open on U.S. 301 with 12,000 square feet of shopping and 200,000 square feet of distribution logistics and warehousing, while a third Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County ReStore launched in Brandon.

Treasures also abounded in boutiques, craft breweries and concepts like Kidtopia, an indoor kids playground in Lithia and G5, a playground for outdoor loving adults on the outskirts of Plant City that joined our neighborhoods this past year. Throw in more options to wash your car and your hair and residents are primed and ready to visit one of the many new restaurants that opened in 2018.

MORE YEAR IN REVIEW: Restaurants, retail and fitness highlight a year of growth for the North of Tampa area

According to QSR Magazine, which covers quick service restaurants, the Tampa market was the 10th best in the nation to open a fast food eatery this past year based on population and restaurants open. While places like Popeye’s popped up and Philly Pretzel Factory gave us a flavor from the North, Brandon’s vaunted Ben’s breakfast restaurant came back in name alone early in the year, only to be flipped into a Peruvian restaurant by year’s end.

Want more culture? Consider the emergence of the Jazz House Supper Club and Brandon Martini Live as signals of growing diversity in the area. And the addition of a cannabidiol (CBD) dispensary in Apollo Beach for those in the medical marijuana market.

Stay tuned in the new year for more of the same starting with the complete remake of Bloomingdale Square. Coming soon will be a remodeled Publix, LA Fitness, Home Centric, First Watch, Banfield pet hospital, GNC and Chicken Salad Chick.

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