What Would You Like To See Replace Winn-Dixie?

The Bloomingdale Winn-Dixie will close at the end of March. (Patch)

BRANDON, FL — Bloomingdale West, Camelot Woods and Hickory Creek accustomed to popping into Winn-Dixie for a few groceries on their way home will have to find a new routine.

Southeastern Grocers has announced it is closing all 22 of its remaining Winn-Dixie grocery stores in the Southeast including the store at 179 Bloomingdale Ave.

"We realize that the closure of an under-performing store in your community can be challenging," said company spokesman Joe Caldwell. "We do not take these decisions lightly, and only make this tough choice after careful consideration of its impact on our associates and our customers has been made."

Southeastern Grocers, which filed for bankruptcy and emerged with a reorganization plan last year, said the stores will close by March 25.

The company also runs the BI-LO, Harvey’s and Fresco y Mas chains. In all, Southeastern Grocers has more than 500 stores that will remain open.

The announcement has south Brandon residents wondering about the fate of the vacant space in the Bloomingdale Plaza on the southwest corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and John Moore Road.

In the hopes of reviving the aging the 83,237-square-foot plaza, which is nearly 40 years old, it recently underwent a face lift with fresh paint and remodeled facades, according to property manager, RMC Property Group.

Most of the storefronts in the plaza are currently occupied including recently opened businesses Holy Hog Barbecue, Vape-Ology and Tobacco Depot and the soon-to-open Your Pie.

The plaza is also home to longtime businesses Quest Diagnostics, Coast Dental, Agape Chic Consignment Boutique, Recipe Box Family Diner, Best Buy Liquor and The Dance Center — home of the Brandon Ballet.

The loss of the 47,195-square-foot Winn-Dixie grocery store will leave a big vacancy in the plaza and one less place for residents to shop for groceries.

"So sad," commented Deborah Greet Kenney on the Bloomingdale Homeowners Association Facebook page. "I’ve been shopping there for 30 years . Love their meat department."

Nancy Willson Fintak said she depended on Winn-Dixie when she needed to make a quick trip to pick up a missing ingredient. She said she’d love to see a Whole Foods move into the space.

"This could be a good location for that," she said.

Others hope Trader Joe’s or ALDI will move into the space.

However, there’s one business residents say they’d rather not see move into the space.

"Hopefully, it won’t be another health club," said Dave Kenney.

Residents also hope the space won’t be empty as long as the former Walmart in Bloomingdale Square on the southwest corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road. The Bloomingdale Square Walmart closed in April 2015 when construction began on the new Walmart Supercenter down the road. It’s been empty ever since, giving Bloomingdale Square a ghost town appearance.

But plans are underway to revive the 254,442-square-foot plaza. The current Publix in Bloomingdale Square is relocating to 48,000 square feet formerly occupied by Walmart. Home Centric, a home goods store owned by Beall’s, will occupy another 15,000 square feet of space next to Publix.

LA Fitness is expected to move into the space being vacated by Publix. Additionally, the mall owners, Regency Centers, have approval to build a 15,000-square-foot strip center on an outparcel next to McDonald’s. Plans call for a 6,200-square-foot First Watch Restaurant with a patio and a Chicken Salad Chick in the new center along with a GNC and a Banfield Pet Hospital.

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