A new Walmart for the grocery-store-starved North Trail will be built in 2012.
At a city Planning Board meeting last week, the board’s five members unanimously approved a site-plan application for a Walmart “neighborhood market” concept and pharmacy.
The new Walmart will replace the shuttered Winn-Dixie supermarket at 3500 Tamiami Trail.
“This is not a perfect project, but this is a needed project,” said Planning Board Chairwoman Susan Chapman. “There is a food desert in this area.”
North Trail neighborhoods have been without a nearby supermarket since the Winn-Dixie, which had been there for four decades, closed last fall. Currently, the nearest grocery store is the Publix at North Tamiami Trail and 10th Street.
Planning Board member Mort Siegel called the project “a great addition to the community” at last week’s meeting.
“Let’s hope that this area develops in the direction we would all like to see it develop,” Siegel said.
Residents lamented the loss of the area’s only grocery store at the hour-long city informational meeting in July.
The approximately 34,000-square-foot grocery store will include canopy awnings, bicycle racks, bus stops and pedestrian access points for residents.
The store will create 90 to 100 jobs in the economically depressed area.
The Walmart could be operating as early as August 2012.
The neighborhood market will be the first Walmart of its kind in Sarasota County. There are 27 statewide, including one in Tampa, one in Largo and one in Pinellas Park.
By the Numbers
0 — Existing Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Sarasota County
100 — The number of local jobs the proposed Walmart would create.
6 a.m. to 10 p.m. — The proposed hours for the Walmart store
33,803 — Size, in square feet, of proposed Walmart store
39,961 — Size, in square feet, of closed Winn-Dixie store
138 — Parking spaces to be built