via the Tampa Bay Times by Piper Castillo
OLDSMAR — Trader Joe’s? Safeway? Whole Foods Market?
Although the name has yet to be revealed, hurdles are being cleared to give Oldsmar a new place to load up on groceries. Although the specific store has not been identified, other facts have been disclosed, including the exact location. Its home will be Woodlands Square, right next to Beall’s.
The City Council recently approved a development agreement with Woodlands Square Community Reinvestment Partners allowing for the renovation of the shopping center at 3130 Tampa Road. The center, more than 30 years old, is about a half-mile from Canal Park and is most known for AMC Woodlands 20, a popular movie theater last renovated in 2000.
In front of the council, Mark Van Dyke, the director of development for Ram Realty Services, owner of Woodlands Square, reviewed the timeline for the project, with a goal of opening for business by September 2017.
“We are securing the grocery store,” he said. “We plan to start demolition right after the first of the year. We’ll get through the holiday season and will then commence on construction of the grocery store.”
Along with the mystery store, new construction of another retail space, totalling 10,500 square feet, is also planned. Brian Maloney, managing director of Ram Reality, said the standalone store will be at the center of the current parking lot and will serve as a connecting point. It will be a store where people will want to enter after leaving Beall’s, for example, shop through and exit towards Marshalls without having to walk too far.
“Right now there’s a lot of parking lot space, and this will be a store that moves people from one part of the shopping center to another easier,” he said.
To make way for new construction, a portion of the west side of Woodlands Square, with several vacant stores, will be torn down. Current tenants on the west side will be moved to another site on the property.
The project also includes updating storefront exteriors as well as renovating some of the interior of the movie theater, including widening the aisles.
Another highlight will be a constructed pathway with signage to improve pedestrian and bike access between Woodlands Square and Canal Park, with its BMX Supercross track and sports fields.
“The details haven’t been worked out yet, but the idea of including a walkway came about from the idea of connecting the community’s open space with the community’s shopping space,” Maloney said.