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Old October 16th, 2014, 02:06 AM   #1
FloridaFuture
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Tampa Still in Search of Downtown Grocer

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Tampa still in search of a downtown grocery store
Published: October 14, 2014 | Updated: October 15, 2014 at 09:18 AM
By Richard Mullins | Tribune Staff

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was walking in downtown Washington D.C. two weeks ago and stopped when he saw a vision come to life: A brand-new urban grocery store. An upscale Harris Teeter even.

“This was in the bottom of probably a 20-story tower, and it worked fine,” Buckhorn said. He stopped and took a photo with his phone. “I think as we become more urbanized in Tampa, the people who live downtown, who will be shoppers there, will get very accustomed to either walking to it, or taking an Uber car to it, or driving up into a parking lot above it.”

Buckhorn and a slew of other Tampa power brokers have been trying for years to lure a major grocery company into building downtown. They have come close to a deal with Publix Super Markets Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and others. Buckhorn said talks are still simmering with Wal-Mart, but the key sticking point remains the same: Parking.
http://tbo.com/news/business/tampa-i...tore-20141014/

Thought this was the most interesting part of the article:

Quote:
Developers for Wal-Mart were negotiating earlier this year with officials with the Tampa Housing Authority for a site at Encore, but when THA and Wal-Mart officials met in April face-to-face for the first time, Wal-Mart presented a plan for a traditional single-story store with wide surface parking, and they would not consider anything else, said THA chief operating officer Leroy Moore.

That meeting ended bitterly, Moore said, and he's not aware of any contact between THA and Wal-Mart since then.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 02:40 AM   #2
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There's a big difference between what Walmart promises and what Walmart delivers when it comes to building new storefronts. The store under construction along Hillsborough in East Tampa is a good example. What was promised for East Tampa was a storefront similar to the one built on Georgia Ave in Washington, DC to compliment Tampa Heights. By "storefront built up to the street" they actually meant side-facing store with a giant cinder block wall facing the street (like the USF Walmart, without frontage roads) and a loading dock close enough to Hillsborough Ave that traffic will get tied up any time a delivery truck arrives at/leaves the store.

Good on THA for calling their bluff. What they're building in East Tampa is a step backward for an area of town that Tampa is trying to make pedestrian friendly.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 03:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Szemeredy View Post
There's a big difference between what Walmart promises and what Walmart delivers when it comes to building new storefronts. The store under construction along Hillsborough in East Tampa is a good example. What was promised for East Tampa was a storefront similar to the one built on Georgia Ave in Washington, DC to compliment Tampa Heights. By "storefront built up to the street" they actually meant side-facing store with a giant cinder block wall facing the street (like the USF Walmart, without frontage roads) and a loading dock close enough to Hillsborough Ave that traffic will get tied up any time a delivery truck arrives at/leaves the store.

Good on THA for calling their bluff. What they're building in East Tampa is a step backward for an area of town that Tampa is trying to make pedestrian friendly.
Thing is, Wal-Mart wasn't even trying to bluff. They were straight up saying they wanted a suburban style store with the Encore site. They probably wanted a tax credit too.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 03:34 AM   #4
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Walmart's agents were promising an urban-style store for Encore! and were negotiating to that effect. It wasn't until Walmart corporate showed up with plans for a suburban store that things changed.

I guess they thought they could use Tampa's desperation for a downtown grocer against them. "Just get their hopes up, eventually they'll have to give in."
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Old October 16th, 2014, 03:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Szemeredy View Post
There's a big difference between what Walmart promises and what Walmart delivers when it comes to building new storefronts. The store under construction along Hillsborough in East Tampa is a good example. What was promised for East Tampa was a storefront similar to the one built on Georgia Ave in Washington, DC to compliment Tampa Heights. By "storefront built up to the street" they actually meant side-facing store with a giant cinder block wall facing the street (like the USF Walmart, without frontage roads) and a loading dock close enough to Hillsborough Ave that traffic will get tied up any time a delivery truck arrives at/leaves the store.
I was worried they were pulling that. I couldn't find any actual copies of the site plan online though.

Not at all surprised that something like that would get approved by the local govt "experts".
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Old October 16th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #6
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Based on what openings have been left in initial construction, orientation looks like this:



The section closest to the road is likely the Market area.

Oh, Tampa... when will you learn?
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Old October 16th, 2014, 03:53 AM   #7
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Ah, the elusive urban grocery store.

Common in the Northeastern and Western United States, and, through progressive policy decisions and repopulation efforts, increasingly found in the Midwest and South, the urban grocer provides a year-round food source for urban dwellers. Typically standing one or two stories, grocers are often accompanied by larger apartments and condominiums; a familiar refuge for urbanites. Suburban sprawl, the automobile, political indifference, and subsequent disruption of migratory patterns have contributed to the stores’ endangered status in West Central Florida.

EDIT:

By the way, a couple of other notes…

1. I may have mentioned this in another thread (I forget), but THA recently tried to amend their development agreement encompassing Encore to allow for a surface parking lot along Nebraska. The request was ultimately rejected by City Council, but the idea that they might be embracing urbanism is BS.

2. The Wal-Mart in East Tampa is actually within Seminole Heights’ new form-based area. The neighborhood was rezoned in quadrants, and when this part (NE) was to set to be approved, a handful of residents in Hampton Terrace complained about some nonsense in the new code. Because of this, City Council continued the hearing to the following month, during which time Walmart moved forward with their application. So, as usual, you can thank City Council and a half-dozen or so residents for this gem.

Last edited by koopalicious; October 16th, 2014 at 04:12 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 04:59 PM   #8
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I am all about the urban design grocery stores but who in the heck is going to walk to the one on a road such as Hillsborough and take home groceries. This is hardly an dense urban neighborhood. More than one block in the heat ( or rain ) would prohibit that.

Just saying, the auto is going to be the necessary evil here. Even at the Encore site, aside from those who don't live the outlined development, is anyone even from Grand Central going to walk over there to buy a cart full of stuff?

I know where people want Tampa's development to go but we are no where near walking for groceries outside of maybe the few blocks in our high-rise core and that doesn't hardy have the residential needed either. Maybe in 5 years we can see how that all comes together but seriously.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian72 View Post
I am all about the urban design grocery stores but who in the heck is going to walk to the one on a road such as Hillsborough and take home groceries. This is hardly an dense urban neighborhood. More than one block in the heat ( or rain ) would prohibit that.

Just saying, the auto is going to be the necessary evil here. Even at the Encore site, aside from those who don't live the outlined development, is anyone even from Grand Central going to walk over there to buy a cart full of stuff?

I know where people want Tampa's development to go but we are no where near walking for groceries outside of maybe the few blocks in our high-rise core and that doesn't hardy have the residential needed either. Maybe in 5 years we can see how that all comes together but seriously.
You can still have parking, either behind or preferably in a garage. Nobody is talking about eliminating places for people's car we're just saying lets begin to design these neighborhoods in a manner that would eventually make them pedestrian friendly.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 06:45 PM   #10
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I agree and was merely addressing the aspect that regardless of the design, the car will be the primary source of transit to the sub - urban groceries. The problem with it though is it just looks urban....of course I like the urban design and think it's practical in dense areas.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 06:54 PM   #11
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Good for Tampa, not taking Wallyworld's tax abatement and switch. If you want to create an urban environment you've got to create an urban environment. Build your grocery vertical with good street access and an integrated parking garage like the SoHo Greenwise. It's possible to be both pedestrian and automotive friendly. Tampa needs to maintain higher standards if it wants to appeal to the coveted up and coming millenials it speaks about so frequently.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 07:42 PM   #12
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I like the Hyde Park Greenwise. A shame it sounds like it hasn't been much of a success for Publix.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #13
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Wait, are we talking about the shitty Hillsborough Ave store being put up, or the shitty store WalMart tried to put up in Encore! ?
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Old October 16th, 2014, 08:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I like the Hyde Park Greenwise. A shame it sounds like it hasn't been much of a success for Publix.
Has not been a success whatsoever. I think one of the main reasons why you haven't seen Publix try something similar in this area.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 08:58 PM   #15
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I wonder how long before they rebrand it as a regular Publix? I think it would do better with the usual Publix offerings.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 09:04 PM   #16
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For sure, especially since there are not to many options. Look at Clearwater, there are 6 at least with in just a few miles of where I live. Downtown, Ft Harrison and Turner, Missouri & Lakeview, Highland and Belleir, Gulf to bay and Belcher, Island Way Clearwater beach, Westbay and Indian Rocks, Belcher and Sunset. There really isn't another store brand around. That isn't the case in Tampa, very few stores and those are older small locations at that.

I really enjoy the specialty stores, Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Greenwise but honestly they would never be my first choice for everyday (weekly) shopping.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 09:12 PM   #17
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Has not been a success whatsoever. I think one of the main reasons why you haven't seen Publix try something similar in this area.
They did, actually. Rather than specifically branding stores as Greenwise (too much brand confusion), they just started adding specialized elements into regular Publix stores in areas that were candidates for a new Greenwise store. The Fletcher/Dale Mabry location is entirely Greenwise spec, and arguably the most luxurious Publix in all of Tampa Bay. Gandy/Dale Mabry has many Greenwise elements built into it post-remodel.

It's much like how Target has several models of store. Regular, PFresh, City, Urban, Super, etc., but you'll never see anything but the Target logo on the exterior of new/remodel construction.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 11:42 PM   #18
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How is it greenwise isn't considered successful? Are there numbers you guys know about that I don't? I probably go there more than anyone in this forum, there's always plenty of people, folks actually sit down and have lunch there, it's as busy as the location on Bayshore. What do you guys know that I don't?
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Old October 17th, 2014, 12:22 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by CubanBread View Post
How is it greenwise isn't considered successful? Are there numbers you guys know about that I don't? I probably go there more than anyone in this forum, there's always plenty of people, folks actually sit down and have lunch there, it's as busy as the location on Bayshore. What do you guys know that I don't?
From Forbes:

Quote:
In 2007 Publix launched a prescription-drug program for customers that now offers free 14-day supplies of six generic antibiotics and 30-day supplies for hypertension and diabetes medicine. The loss leader has helped the pharmacy (now in almost 90% of Publix’s locations) become the company’s fastest-growing department. Also that year it experimented with a Whole Foods-esque format called GreenWise Market to capture some of the booming business in natural and organic foods. The format didn’t take as a stand-alone store, but the GreenWise organic brand, along with Publix’s private label, is a winner, with higher margins on average and stronger sales, up a combined 6% in 2012 (more than triple overall sales growth).
http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansol...he-grocer-war/

As noted above, people want their Publix as is but what you can do is vary the assortment based on the neighborhood (which Publix has always done anyway).


BTW, our high-rise Publix across from Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando has garage parking under the building, but I know quite a few folks (including myself and the elderly folks from the nearby retirement towers that have made the pharmacy explode) who walk over because it's less hassle than driving. And, yes, it has changed my shopping habits since I can't load up - I find myself buying more fresh food as a result of my daily trips after I do my run around the lake.

Last edited by HARTride 2012; October 17th, 2014 at 03:01 AM. Reason: added quotation box around article snippet
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Old October 17th, 2014, 01:20 AM   #20
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I still think that DT is best off with 2-3 grocers (10-20k sqft), not 1 industry standard 'supermarket'. (40-60k sqft)
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