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Second grocery store planned for downtown St. Pete

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Downtown St. Pete will soon have a second grocery store. According to Fox 13, a developer has filed plans with the city to build a 32,000 square-foot grocery store with another 18,000 square-feet of planned retail space.

It’s not yet clear what chain is planned for the space, but renderings filed show the word “grocer” in Publix’s token green.

The store will be developed on the 700 block of Central Avenue with the entrance facing First Avenue South. That entrance will directly face a new apartment complex also under construction.

According to Fox, the two developments are set to be completed at approximately the same time, though that timeframe is not yet certain.

Residential development continues to spread from the downtown waterfront westward. Aside from the Publix on Second Avenue South, residents would have to travel North to any number of stores along Fourth Street.

“As the downtown area evolves, there is a clear need for modern, amenity-rich rental apartments that not only meet current demand, but help define the downtown corridor itself,” said Allen Morris Company CEO W. Allen Morris to Multi-Housing News. “That is what makes The Hermitage an ideal project for this stage of downtown St. Petersburg’s evolution.”

That aparentment complex is expected to house some 400 to 500 residents in nearly 350 units making a grocery and retail development across the street a worthy endeavor.

The news also adds to the city’s current excitement over expanding downtown development West as conversations continue to develop about the possibility of eventually demolishing Tropicana Field.

In addition to a grocery store, the development will also include a parking garage. That should serve as welcome news to business owners and patrons along the burgeoning 600-block of unique consignment and specialty shops.

This will be the second grocery store available to downtown residents. Another Publix near the waterfront serves residents in the high-rise condos flourishing in St. Pete’s downtown residential boom.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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