4407 Northlake Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL - Northmil Plaza
In our last feature post, we took a look at Albertsons #4364, which was located just a mile to the east of the Albertsons store that we'll be looking at in today's post. In 2001, after a few setbacks, Albertsons was finally ready to open their brand new replacement store for #4364. Albertsons #4454 was a very nice store from what I heard. I used to know someone who worked nearby this Albertsons way back when, and she always used to talk about how great this store was, and how it was one of the nicest Albertsons stores she had ever seen. This store was a fairly typical Grocery Palace era Albertsons store from what I understand, but with a slightly modified facade to make it look a bit classier. Even in its current form, the exterior is still essentially the same as it was when Albertsons occupied this building (unlike what we saw last time at the site of #4364). If you've been following the blog for a while, you may remember that Albertsons #4454 was already featured on the blog once before - way back in May 2015. That post was mostly a quick overview of the exterior thanks to some photos sent in by a contributor, whereas this post will be just a bit more extensive.
While Albertsons was eventually able to get this store up and running in 2001, the path that Albertsons had to take to get this store open was a bit of a rough one. Plans for the construction of this store originally surfaced in 1996, which is why this 2001 built store ended up with a store number in the 4450s instead of the 4470s. When the plans were first announced about the construction of the new Albertsons store and accompanying shopping center, local residents began to fight the project. Residents in the area were concerned about how this new shopping center would increase traffic at the intersection of Military Trail and Northlake Boulevard, in addition to concerns about increased noise in the area from delivery trucks servicing the new Albertsons store and the other tenants of the new plaza. After some debate between area residents and the developer, the city of Palm Beach Gardens decided to deny the plans for the new Albertsons store in March 1998. Clearly, the developer was not happy about this decision. After the denial, the project developer sued the City of Palm Beach Gardens on the ground that all of the city's requirements had been met to get the project's approval, and that the grounds for the denial were unjustified. In 1999, a judge sided with the developer, and granted the developer the right to have their plans for the new shopping center resubmitted to the city. After a few more months of debate about the project with residents, the City of Palm Beach Gardens voted 3-2 in favor of approving the developer's plans in June 1999. The slim victory only came about after the developer agreed to a few stipulations for the new shopping center, such as putting in time restrictions on when deliveries can be made and when trash can be picked up (to address the resident's noise concerns), as well as requiring the developer to pay for a school crossing guard at the plaza's main entrance from Military Trail in perpetuity (to address some of the traffic concerns). In early 2000, construction on the new shopping center would finally begin, with Albertsons opening in their new store in 2001, five years after the plans for the project first came about.
As nice as this store was, and even with all the hoops the developer had to go through to get this place built, Albertsons would only last 7 years at this location. This was one of four underperforming Albertsons stores closed in August 2008, just a little over a month after Albertsons announced they were also selling 49 of their Florida locations to Publix. By the end of 2008, Albertsons would be left with only 40 stores in Florida, a number which we all know continued to dwindle until the Albertsons name left Florida completely in 2016, with three stores left in the entire state. This former Albertsons store didn't sit empty for too long, as in 2010 the building was subdivided between Joseph's Classic Market in the left portion of the building, and HomeGoods in the right portion (which we saw a glimpse of in the first photo in this post). Joseph's and HomeGoods still occupy this space today.
Joseph's Classic Market is an upscale Italian-influenced grocery store, and this is one of the two locations they operate (with the other being in Boca Raton). Joseph's main entrance is located where Albertsons' main entrance was, under the grand arch. The archway itself has not been altered since Albertsons left the building.
Heading inside for a quick look at what Joseph's Classic Market is all about. The interior of this store was pretty dark, so many of these interior photos didn't come out so great (my old phone never took very good photos when the lighting dropped below a certain level). In both the Joseph's portion of the building and in the HomeGoods portion of the building, I didn't see any traces of Albertsons left behind. The photos in this post are actually a bit old (taken nearly 2 1/2 years ago), and back then if I didn't see too many traces of Albertsons relics left behind, I didn't take many photos. So therefore, our interior tour of Joseph's Classic Market is quite limited unfortunately.
The photo above was taken upon first entering the store, where you are brought into Joseph's produce department. When Albertsons was here, I would have been looking toward the pharmacy island and Snack Central (with a view comparable to this one). Joseph's Classic Market takes up the portion of the building where Albertsons' deli, bakery, and produce departments would have been, in addition to Snack Central and Beverage Boulevard in the center store area.
Looking down the side wall that divides Joseph's from HomeGoods. Joseph's uses a smaller portion of the old Albertsons building than HomeGoods, which takes up a good 2/3rd of the Albertsons building (with Joseph's in the remaining third). Beyond produce is the wine department, with the meat counter along the back wall.
Looking back toward the entrance with this overview of the produce department. This place had some of the most neatly stacked produce displays I've ever seen!
A rather extensive selection of wine is located just beyond produce.
A rather crummy photo of Joseph's meat counter, which is located approximately in the area where Albertsons' bakery would have been located. Joseph's Classic Market has a much larger focus on fresh and prepared foods and wines than dry groceries, with this store's small selection of dry groceries located here in front of the meat counter.
For whatever reason, I neglected to get any photos of the left side of Joseph's Classic Market. Over there were the bakery and deli counter, as well as a large island with prepared foods. Like I said, back when I took these photos I was more interested in finding Albertsons artifacts than anything else, so I didn't care as much if I skipped an entire portion of a store if there wasn't anything from Albertsons to be found there! However, if you're curious about what the left side of this store looks like, I found this overview photo on Google that shows much of what I missed.
Anyway, this last interior photo from Joseph's shows the store's front end, looking in the direction of the bakery. Back in the Albertsons days, the deli counter would have been located where the Joseph's bakery is now.
Stepping outside once again as we make our way toward the HomeGoods side of the building. The walkway between Joseph's and Home Goods also serves as an outdoor seating area for Joseph's Classic Market, as they do not have a seating area for customers inside the store. Albertson's main exit would have been located just off to my left, but that was sealed up and covered over during the subdivision.
With out tour of Jeoseph's Classic Martket out of the way, HomeGoods is our next stop. The archway located over HomeGoods' main entrance is an identical copy of Albertsons old main entrance. However, this arch is not original. This one was added when the building was subdivided, although you could be easily convinced by the design that Albertsons did this themselves!
HomeGoods takes up the portion of the Albertsons where the Meat and Seafood Counter, Frozen Foods, Dairy, and the bulk of the grocery aisles would have been located. Much like we saw inside Joseph's Classic Market, nothing from Albertsons remains in here either. Home Goods even added a drop ceiling to cover Albertsons open ceiling. Typically in a remodel, it's more common to see the reverse of that! The above photo was taken looking into the front right portion of the store, toward the old pet department and frozen foods.
The back of the store, taken from the area where the meats and seafood department would have been. Like I said, there wasn't anything terribly exciting in here, so let's go back outside and finish off our tour with a look at the former liquor store:
Unlike most former Albertsons liquor stores, which tend to sit empty for years, this one actually found a new life as a bagel shop! The bagel shop kept the original entryway set up from the Albertsons liquor store, and even the inside of the bagel shop still has a slight Albertsons feel to it (probably because the lighting appears to be original to Albertsons). Looking through interior photos of this place, it's actually a pretty large bagel shop, complete with a large bagel production line and a spacious dining area.
With our tour complete, it's now time to take a look at some satellite imagery of this former Albertsons store, starting off with Bird's Eye aerial images courtesy of Bing Maps:
Front - Bing Maps recently updated their imagery from this area, showing the building in its current state. However, in my original post on this store, the Bird's Eye imagery still shows this building as abandoned, so I'll copy and paste that image below since it's a bit more interesting:
Front (c. 2009) - Here the building sits waiting for a new life. When the building was eventually subdivided, HomeGoods carved out their entryway in the space where the front awning dips inward toward right side of the building.
Front (ca. 2007/2008-ish) - While that image of the abandoned building was interesting, I still wasn't satisfied, so I was able to track down this Bird's Eye image from when store #4454 was still open! It turns out I took a screenshot of this store as part of a project I was working on long before I even thought to start AFB. I had forgotten about this image until I started going through some of my old files, so I decided to throw this into the post as well.
Anyway, let's get back on track with the rest of the Bird's Eye imagery...
And now for some historic aerial images, courtesy of Google Earth:
Former Albertsons #4454 - 2017
Former Albertsons #4454 - 2014
Former Albertsons #4454 - 2009 - The building was still abandoned at this point.
Albertsons #4454 - 2005
Albertsons #4454 - 2002 - Still pretty new here!
Future Albertsons #4454 - 1999 - The plans were ready to go for the new Albertsons store at this point, with the developer working out the final kinks with the city this particular year.
And that's about all I have to say about former Albertsons #4454. It's always a shame to see these newer Albertsons stores that hardly lasted long at all, although at 7 years in operation, this was certainly not the shortest lived Albertsons store out there.
To officially conclude this post, I will leave everyone with a final image of this store back when it was still open. The image was taken from above to show the entire shopping center, but you can still make out the old Albertsons building. The was the only other image I found of this store while it was still open when digging through my old files. I don't remember where I got this photo from, but it was more than likely one of the commercial realty sites out there (such as Loopnet).
Anyway, more Albertsons coming at you in two weeks! So until the next post,
The Albertsons Florida Blogger