Construction will begin on a Lowe’s home-improvement store in Palmer Ranch nearly four years after it was first proposed.
In May, residents will begin to see crews working on the vacant plot on Central Sarasota Parkway, between the Bella Villino condos and former Albertson’s supermarket. It’s expected to open as early as next January.
“We’re very happy to be coming to Southwest Florida and serving the residents there,” said Lowe’s spokeswoman Stacey Lentz.
The 94,000-square-foot store is smaller than the originally proposed 153,000-square-foot facility.
The Sarasota County Planning Commission had denied that original plan, because it believed the size of the building was too big for the 20-acre site.
WilsonMiller, the land-planning company that had been representing Lowe’s locally, has said the long construction delay was because of the downturn in the economy.
The Lowe’s store will create 120 jobs and, more important for some, a little bit of buzz for the area.
“I feel this area is turning into a ghost town,” said Margaret Brading, president of the Palmer Ranch Communities Coalition.
With vacancies in the shopping centers on Tamiami Trail and in Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, Brading said Palmer Ranch needed something to attract more businesses to the area.
“Lowe’s is definitely a positive,” she said. “The residents are very happy.”
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