1. Business

Bealls and West Marine to join Pollo Tropical at redeveloped Kmart site in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — The long-vacant shopping plaza on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, formerly home to Kmart, is nearing completion, bringing a handful of well-known retailers to the area.

Construction on the main section of the 10-acre property should be completed by fall, said Will Tolliver, managing director of retail for the Texas-based real estate investment company Leon Capital Group. Bealls department store and West Marine boating supplies have signed leases, and Leon Capital is completing negotiations with "a national pet goods store," Tolliver said.

The developer is also in talks with "a national gym" that for the eastern portion of the site in a freestanding building, Tolliver said. That portion should be completed by summer 2018. A space for Suntrust Bank on the west side is also under construction.

Pollo Tropical opened on the property earlier this year.

Leon Capital bought the site in October 2014 for $7.1 million, according to property records. Before then, Kmart was paying rent for the vacant building from when the company left in 2009 until the lease expired in October 2012.

Leon Capital originally announced the $20 million redevelopment would be completed in October 2016.

"Now that we're full-speed ahead on this project, we're excited to get it done," Tolliver said.