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  1. Business

New stores look to revive Brandon's Kingsway Plaza

For the first time since February 2009, the Kingsway Plaza in Brandon has an anchor tenant, helping draw other businesses and fill out a shopping complex that had as many as 10 vacancies when Sweetbay supermarket closed more than five years ago.

Dollar Tree has announced plans to move into the 13,000 square foot main unit of the complex located at the corner of Kingsway and Windhorst Roads. The news also helped bring the first Brickhouse Cardio Club to East Hillsborough County two doors down, leaving only the two end units at Kingsway Plaza vacant.

Dollar Tree is known for having all items priced at $1 or less, such as greeting cards that are two for a dollar. It is the largest single-price-point retailer in North America with more than 5,000 stores across the 48 contiguous U.S. states and five Canadian provinces.

Store spokeswoman Shelly Davis said their consumers — mostly married women on the go — will have more depth when it comes to brands and choices. This retail outlet will be slightly larger than the 10,000-12,000 square foot stores Dollar Tree tends to operate.

"All Dollar Trees have what we call our four pillar categories: health and beauty, seasonal, party and food and snacks," Davis said. "But this store will have more than one variety."

The shelves currently are empty, but when it opens later this fall, Dollar Tree will be adjacent to longtime plaza retailer Dollar General, which dubs itself as the nation's largest small box retailer with more than 11,500 stores in 40 states. Both competitors currently are trying to acquire Family Dollar.

Having an anchor tenant is one reason Brandon native Sandra Budel chose to open her first fitness franchise in the complex to offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba, Body Combat, Insanity, Silver Sneakers, and more in the future. She said members will be able to enroll in unlimited classes for one monthly fee that she still is finalizing and that there will not be any "intimidating" machines.

"It will be women-focused," said Budel, who has been a personal trainer for the past 3 1/2 years. "I want to give them a place to come to feel comfortable and meet other people."

Budel just moved back to town after spending time in North Carolina and Maryland and also has plans to open later this fall. She will offer morning classes from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and evening classes from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. She also wants to eventually add Les Mills Body Pump classes in the future.

Brickhouse will occupy 2,080 square feet and join nearby locations in Tampa and Lakeland. Brickhouse began in 2010 and has clubs in 20 states as well as Ontario, Canada.

Budel said people are trying to live healthier lives nowadays and she wants to add an element of entertainment to their workouts.

"People do want to be more fit," she said. "Zumba is a fun way to get fit with some social interaction."

For more information about Dollar Tree, visit and to find out about West Virginia-based Brickhouse Cardio Club, visit

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