Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Break and Post Scheduling Info

     Yes, it's that time of year again. AFB will be on break from now through most of July, with posting to resume on July 31, 2016 with the much awaited tour of a Safeway Florida store. (Something to look forward to upon my return). During my break, please don't be offended if it takes me an unusually long period of time to reply to any comments or e-mails I may receive until my return to blogging. Once posting resumes on July 31st, feature posts will resume back to the normal schedule of every other Sunday through the beginning of December. Thanks everyone for your patience and see everybody in July! Have a great summer!


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Former Albertsons #4353 - Longwood, FL

Albertsons #4353
200 S. US Highway 17-92, Longwood, FL - Longwood Lakes Shopping Center

     The lonely lifeless Longwood Albertsons, left to lie among the lamented like many of the other Albertsons Florida stores. (Sorry, I was on a bit of a roll with the 'l' thing). Actually, I should rephrase that statement - it shouldn't be many of the Albertsons Florida stores, but all of the Albertsons Florida stores now. Albertsons Florida in its entirety is gone now, as we all saw with the Safeway conversions officially going into effect about two weeks ago. (Although some can argue Albertsons and Safeway are pretty much the same now, but the Albertsons name itself is gone). Anyway, while Albertsons Florida is gone now, I'm still out to document as much of its past as I can, like what we're about to see here in Longwood. This store was actually one of two Albertsons to have existed in Longwood, with the other store being store #4333, located five miles to the west in Springs Plaza (a story for another day). This Albertsons opened in 1982, using the "trapezoid" model design, the design that came after the original Skaggs-Albertsons design was retired in the early 80's. I called this the Trapezoid model due to the shape of the entryway as seen from satellite imagery. This design looks very close to a commonly built design used by A&P's Family Mart stores in the early 80's, however none of these Trapezoid model Albertsons were ever Family Marts, as I've seen a few people online claim them to be.

     By the early 2000's, this store began to feel dated. Albertsons gave this store a full remodel around 2001, which included an interior refresh and the addition of the white stuccoed accent piece to the exterior, a fairly common upgrade to many of these older Albertsons stores in the early 2000's. This store managed to make it all the way to the 2012 round of Albertsons Florida closures, where their store count was cut to four locations. And as of today, this store is still sitting empty. If my count is accurate, that leaves this as one of four Albertsons Florida stores from the 2012 round of closures to still be sitting abandoned or not have a new tenant secured as of June 2016 (with the other three being stores #4346, #4354, and #4498).

     If you look closely, you can still see the labelscars from the Albertsons logo, and the "Food" and "Pharmacy" signs.

     Other than the slightly reconfigured entryway, these "trapezoid" model stores had essentially the same interior layout as the previous Skaggs Model stores. These stores also featured the river rock covered exterior walls that the Skaggs model used as well.

     Looking toward the left side entryway.

     The left side entrance/exit.

     "This Albertsons Location is Now Closed". Even though this store is gone, the Altamonte Springs Albertsons Safeway is only five miles away. An extra five miles is much better than an extra hundred miles to the next closest Albertsons Safeway.

     Ready for a peek inside?

     Although faint, you can still see a labelscar from the "Welcome to your Neighborhood Albertsons" sign.

     Yep, Albertsons left just about all of their Industrial Circus decor up on the walls after they left. This store originally opened with the 70's Stripes interior, and at some point in the late 80's or early 90's it was remodeled to Blue and Gray Market. Then in 2001, the Industrial Circus interior you see here was installed as a part of the early 2000's refresh.

     In front of that short wall that keeps popping into all of the pictures was where carts would be stored. Just out of frame to the left was the deli, followed by the bakery and then produce in the back left corner.

     This was the best I could do at getting a picture of the deli. The deli was located in that area painted red to the far left partially hidden by the glare.

     And some additional pictures of the left side of the store:

     Moving away from the left side of the store and further toward the center.

     The old meat department is in the very back of this image. Above the meat department you can see the windows that look over the store from the upstairs offices.

     The floral department was located in this little island box between the two entrances.

     Let's take a short break from the interior as we head over to the right side of the building. This is looking down the front sidewalk toward the right side of the store.

     Looking toward the right side entrance.

     And the right side entrance itself. In this picture, you can somewhat make out the "Pharmacy" labelscar in the orange painted area.

     Looking into the back right portion of the store. In the very back, straight ahead in this picture was the meat and seafood counter. The pharmacy was located under that green painted portion of the wall off to the right.

     That wall with the "Welcome to your Neighborhood Albertsons" labelscar on it was actually located over on this side of the building. I just thought it would make for a good first picture of this store's abandoned interior.

     In front of the pharmacy, where the wall changes from green paint to white, was home to (what I'm pretty sure was) the old video department.

     A better look into the old pharmacy and video department areas.

     Looking across the wide empty expanse that was the sales floor, from one of the right side doors.

     So with the main store mostly covered, let's begin our journey over to the old Albertsons liquor store...

     Looking from the right side entrance toward the old liquor store, which was built into the front right corner of the building.

     Some signs left behind by Albertsons between the right side entrance and the liquor store.

     Looking back at where we just came from...

     The old Liquor store.

     Closeup of the entrance.

     Now for a quick look around the inside:

     Pretty typical liquor store interior. The font used for the liquor store signage was the same one that was used in the Theme Park/Grocery Palace interior. You can see an example of the Theme Park/Grocery Palace liquor store interior here to compare.

     Thanks to the side windows, here are a few more pictures of the interior of the old liquor store taken from a less typical angle than what I usually feature.

     Along the top of the wall you can see some of the trim left over from this store's days with the Blue and Gray Market interior, although repainted to that cream color for the Industrial Circus remodel.

     The front counter and cash registers were located in front of that thank you sign.

     So with that, we've covered just about everything here...

    The road sign facing US 17-92, complete with the painted over Albertsons sign on the very top. Below is the road sign facing Route 434:

    Typical 80's/90's Albertsons road sign design, with the Y shaped pole for the sign to rest in.

     Satellite imagery time - First up are Bird's Eye Aerial Images courtesy of Bing Maps:

Front - Back when Albertsons was still open. The Bird's Eye Image facing this direction just happened to be stitched together right through the middle of the old Albertsons.

Right Side


Left Side

     Now for some historic aerial images, courtesy of Google Earth:

Former Albertsons #4353 - 2016 - An overview of the entirety of Longwood Lakes Shopping Center

Albertsons #4353 - 2010

Albertsons #4353 - 2002

Albertsons #4353 - 1999 - The building before the early 2000's renovations were done.

Albertsons #4353 - 1994 - Busy place back in '94.

   So the large lifeless Longwood Albertsons longs for a new life like many other long lost Albertsons stores. Oddly enough, the day after I took these pictures, one of the local news stations did a piece on a redevelopment campaign that the City of Longwood was trying to develop. Since this old Albertsons was going to be one of the main parts of that redevelopment plan, the news did their report on that story from in front of the abandoned Longwood Albertsons you just saw. Thankfully I timed my photo taking so I didn't accidentally get myself on the evening news! As for that redevelopment plan, I don't know whatever became of it, as the Albertsons still sits empty.

     So I will leave everyone with this last look at the Longwood Albertsons' labelscar, and I will spare everyone with any more words that begin with "l".

Have a great Summer everyone!

The Albertsons Florida Blogger