Sunday, May 6, 2018

Former Albertsons #4356 - Port Orange, FL

Albertsons #4356 / Super Saver #1527
3803 South Nova Road, Port Orange, FL - Park Place Plaza

     When Albertsons first built this store in the mid-1980's, they were one of three grocery stores to locate in the newly built shopping centers that had popped up at the busy intersection of Dunlawton Avenue and Nova Road. Nova Road was at one time the major strip for retail within the Daytona Beach/Port Orange area. While there are still plenty of stores along this stretch of road today, many newer retail developments on the western edges of town near Interstate 95 have begun to overshadow the older shopping centers along Nova Road. As you drive down Nova Road today, you can find many examples of repurposed discount stores and grocery stores, all of which are interesting in their own way. However, today we will focus on the former Port Orange Albertsons store, which was one of the few Trapezoid model Albertsons stores to be built in Florida in the mid-1980s. The exact year the Port Orange Albertsons store opened was 1983, on May 18th to be exact, as the first of two Albertsons stores to ever operate in the immediate Daytona Beach area (the other being store #4370 in Daytona Beach proper, which opened 5 years after #4356). Albertsons co-anchored the Park Place Plaza with Bealls Department store, which still operates in this location today. As I just mentioned, Albertsons was one of three grocery stores to operate at this same intersection back in the mid-1980's, competing against a Publix and SupeRx Food and Drug all within a few hundred feet of this location (in addition to a Winn-Dixie about half a mile south on Nova Road). SupeRx was the first store to bow out, closing in 1986 when Kroger retired that brand from Florida. SupeRx Food and Drug actually had a small cluster of stores in the Daytona Beach area, totaling 6 locations as well as one western Volusia location in Orange City. Food Lion bought 5 of those 7 Volusia County SupeRx stores in the late 1980's as part of their entrance into the area, although the Port Orange SupeRx store was one of the two stores not included as part of that deal. For the next 19 years, it was just Albertsons and Publix at this intersection. 

     In 2005, Albertsons announced they would be converting their Port Orange store, as well as the nearby Daytona Beach Albertsons store, over to the Super Saver discount supermarket brand. As we all know, Super Saver wasn't given much of a chance to prove itself, as the new owners of Albertsons' Florida division closed just about all of the newly converted Super Saver stores in 2006. After closing as a Super Saver, this building did not sit empty long. By the end of 2007, it had found its new life divided between a Ross Dress for Less store and Walgreens.

     Even with all of the exterior modifications that came with the subdivision, this building still retains the look and shape of a mid-1980's trapezoid model Albertsons store, including the river rock panel walls too!

     Moving over to the Ross half of the building for a close-up of those famous river rock wall panels. Unlike the last Albertsons-to-Ross conversion we looked at on the blog, at least this place has a little bit more to see from this building's days as a supermarket.

     Where those angled windows are now would have originally been home to Albertsons' left side entrance and exit doors, set up just like this. The original concrete ramp leading to Albertsons' front doors is still visible, with the ramp leading to Ross's new main entrance just beyond that. Both Ross Dress for Less and Walgreens relocated their entrances to the front of the building.

     Moving inside Ross, this photo looks across the very front of the store toward Albertsons' old left side entrance. This Ross store had windows across the entire front, which made for a nice, brighter effect inside the store.

     Moving away from the front of the building, this Ross location begins to look like just about every other one of their stores as we go further into the sales floor. Other than the slightly modified front to take into account the shape of the old Albertsons building, there weren't any other apparent clues of Albertsons to be found within this store. The above photo is looking down Ross's right side wall, which divides it from the Walgreens next door. This area would have been the approximate location of Albertsons frozen foods department when they were still in this building.

     The back of the Ross store, looking toward the former location of Albertsons' produce department.

     The above photo doesn't really have to do with anything related to the former Albertsons, but I thought the stock photo in the frame was different. I found this as I was cutting through an aisle in the housewares department, and thought it was interesting to see a stock photo of an old sign frame used! Old sign frames are pretty photogenic, right? Anyway, let's get back on track for the last few photos I took inside this store:

     While Ross has linens and housewares along the store's left side wall, this would have originally been the location of Abertsons bakery and deli. The bakery would have been in the area where I was standing to take this picture, with the deli in the distance. Produce would have been in the floor space to my left.

     Back up front once again, where the outline of the former Albertsons building is much more apparent.

     With this photo completing our look around the Ross half of this former Albertsons, let's head back outside to make our way over to Walgreens...

     This is looking down the front walkway from Ross toward Walgreens, with Walgreens main entrance just ahead (designated by the columns in the distance).

     Like the Ross side of the building, the shape of the former Albertsons building is still very much apparent on the Walgreens side too. What I find interesting about this Walgreens is that it's not a freestanding location. Since the later part of the 1990's, it's been pretty rare to see a suburban Walgreens pop up in something other than a freestanding building (that wasn't opened as part of an acquisition). Walgreens opened this store from scratch, so they must have had a difficult time finding the land for a freestanding building in this area. Unlike older shopping center Walgreens stores, this store was a bit larger and Walgreens was able to add in a drive thru pharmacy here. While in half an old Albertsons, this Walgreens was still in alignment with one of their modern freestanding locations.

    Walgreens also replicated the effect of Albertsons' river rock panels on the columns they added for their new entrance. It's neat to see how during this subdivision, the new modifications were able to embrace the original look of the Albertsons building.

     This Walgreens had a rather odd entryway compared to their typical stores. Through these double doors was a small vestibule with two sets of doors. The door straight ahead when walking through these double doors led into Walgreens' liquor store, while the set of doors angled to the right led into the main store. It was pretty unusual to see a liquor store off of an interior vestibule like that, and I can see some people accidentally walking into the liquor store instead of the main store with this arrangement!

     Besides the unusual entryway set-up, the rest of this store looked like just about every other Walgreens out there. The above photo was taken in the center left of the Walgreens, looking toward the front of the store.

     Along the mirrored wall in the distance would have been Albertsons' meat and seafood counter.

     The cosmetics department is located along the left side wall at the end of this aisle. That is the wall that separates Walgreens' liquor store and some backroom space from next-door Ross Dress for Less.

     The pharmacy counter was in the store's back right corner.

     The right side wall, which is where Albertsons' health and beauty department would have been located. Even now, part of this area still serves its original purpose as home to health and beauty aids, which can be seen further down this aisle beyond the coolers.

     The front right corner of the store, which we are looking at in the above photo, was the approximate area of Albertsons' pharmacy counter. The area that includes the photo counter and back portion of the coolers would have originally been part of Albertsons' liquor store space, which was removed when Walgreens moved in.

     Walgreens' front counter was located in the small dip created by the shape of Albertsons' old vestibule, although I wasn't able to get a good photo of that area. This was the best photo I was able to get of Walgreens' front end. 

     Stepping back outside, we can see how it's still pretty obvious as to where the Albertsons liquor store was located as we look toward the right side of the building.

     This 'wedge' piece that signified the Albertsons liquor store is still in place, even after the rest of the liquor store was sealed off and removed. You can also see where the old liquor store entrance and windows were covered over, as the river rocks are a lighter color where the wall was patched up. Before Walgreens moved in, the Albertsons liquor store would have looked something like this.

     As we being to wrap up this post, here is an overview of all the major stores that reside/have resided at the intersection of Nova Road and Dunlawton Avenue. Of all those logos you see on the map, only Bealls and Publix are still in their original locations (although Publix did rebuild their store on this corner in 2008 in the same spot as their old one). The Kmart closed in 2009, and Wal-Mart relocated further west on Dunlawton to a new Supercenter near Interstate 95 in 1998. The Wal-Mart, Kmart, and SupeRx buildings have all since been divided into spaces for smaller tenants, just like the Albertsons building was.

     With that little bit of extra information out of the way, it's now time for some historic aerial images, courtesy of Bing Maps:


Right Side


Left Side

     And now for some historic satellite imagery, courtesy of Google Earth:

Former Albertsons #4356 - 2017 - Overview of the entire shopping center.

Former Albertsons #4356 - 2010

Former Albertsons #4356 - 2006 - This store still appears to be operating as Super Saver in the above satellite image.

Albertsons #4356 - 2004

Albertsons #4356 - 1995

     So that's all I have to share about Albertsons #4356. Even after finding a new life as a Ross and a Walgreens, this place still retains many of the characteristics from its early days as an Albertsons. The Daytona Beach area is a really fun place to visit as far as old retail and supermarkets are concerned, as there's quite a bit of it to be found here amongst the famous beaches and the speedway! We'll stick around the Daytona Beach area for our next post, where we'll check out a bonus store no too terribly far away from this old Albertsons. Stay tuned for that in two weeks!

Until the next post,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger


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  3. I noticed something nearby that would need to be verified. It could be a former Florida Choice or SupeRx at 3830 South Nova Road, Port Orange, Florida 32127-4245, observing from an aerial of the area. This would be across from Publix #1259, 3821 South Nova Road, Port Orange, Florida 32127-4950.

    1. Yes, that was indeed a former SupeRx Food and Drug in the plaza with Big Lots and Save A Lot. While the building has since been subdivided between a few smaller storefronts, the distinctive facade from SupeRx is still present. I don't believe that store made it to the Florida Choice days, as the majority of the Volusia County SupeRx locations were sold off to Food Lion in the late 1980's (the Port Orange location was not a part of that sale though - it would later close outright).

  4. I agree, very unusual (and cool!) to see a non-freestanding Walgreens! The façade mash-up is pretty interesting too, not only just seeing Walgreens' typical look shoehorned onto an old Albertsons, but also because the entire building's façade as a whole seems artificially tall. All in all, pretty neat conversion!

  5. This might be the newest non-freestanding Walgreens. I've never knew of any Walgreens shopping center stores built passed the 80's or 90's.

  6. They were way better than, Food lion supermarket. Even Save A Lot food chains ran cycles around Food lion. What made Albertsons fail was the Neighborhood Walmart that moved into Holly Hill a couple of miles up the road, that spelled the beginning of the end for Albertsons along with the housing bubble is what did them in.

  7. I got into a fist fight with the manager of this albertsons in 1984/85? As he threw my punk as over the railing of the loading dock out back, I grabbed his tie:D As I watched his face turn blue , I tugged even harder as I watched his face turn from blue to purple}:) it took half of the store to to remove me.... they beat me up and called the cops. I was just a kid. But I did enjoy kicking his ass. I hope he never forgot that day. Oh yea, he was assaulting a 15 year old girl before I drew his attention to me instead. This is all true.