Sunday, April 3, 2022

Former Albertsons #4384 - Lake Worth, FL (Lantana Road)

Albertsons #4384
8888 Lantana Road, Lake Worth, FL - Shoppes of Sherbrooke

      Your usual Floridian supermarket blogger is back today, after I let The Sing Oil Blogger take over AFB last time with his post about that rare breed of Publix - the Pubno's. The Sing Oil Blogger will be back with another guest post next month, however, AFB himself is back in action today! In today's post, we'll take a quick look at a very short-lived Albertsons store in Palm Beach County, a short-lived store that held a very significant title - Albertsons #4384 was the very last new Albertsons to open in Florida. It's quite sad that not only was this Florida's last ever new Albertsons, but this store only lasted 2 years before closing too - I guess all that makes this store rather symbolic for what Albertsons was about to face in the coming years.

Photo courtesy of a long-gone webpage YonWoo stumbled across

     Albertsons #4384 opened on June 9, 2004, one of many new retail complexes popping up in the western fringes of the Palm Beach County metropolis at the time. The 2000's brought a lot of new development to Western Palm Beach County, specifically in the area along the US 441/State Route 7 corridor and Lyons Road. Albertsons built this store to serve the many new residential communities and gated developments popping up around it, expecting sales at the new store to grow with the area as it built out. Store #4384 received a very nice custom facade, and was one of the nicest looking Albertsons stores in all of Florida from the exterior (I'm a sucker for arches, and the lattice makes for a classy addition too). Store #4384 would have had a layout identical to this when it was open, with the rare (for Florida) Santa Fe decor inside.

     Much like store #4316(2) that opened a few months before it in 2004, the store number for this location is out of the usual sequence. By this time, Albertsons was getting to the point where they were running out of available new store numbers for the Florida division. That's why they began going back and recycling old numbers, as #4384 should have gone to a store opened in the early 90's. I've never found record of a store #4384 prior to this one in Lake Worth, so it appears Albertsons just used an old number that never was put in sequence (or was originally intended for a planned store that never made it off paper in the early 90's). Had Albertsons kept building stores in Florida after 2004, we probably would have seen more number recycling, but as it would be, #4384 would be the last...

Photo courtesy of a long-gone webpage YonWoo stumbled across

     It was never intended for store #4384 to be Florida's last new Albertsons. With debt growing from Albertsons' purchase of American Stores in 1999, the company was beginning to struggle as the 2000's wore on. While Albertsons was trying to cast off poorly performing divisions (Houston, Mid-South) to raise money to save the company from the debt, it wasn't enough. Competition was growing in other divisions, and Albertsons' financial problems were mounting to the point where the company couldn't keep up, even with other cost cutting measures being implemented. I did find record of another new Floridian Albertsons store that should have opened after this one, planned store #4493 in Milton, Santa Rosa County (just east of Pensacola). Store #4493 was targeted for a late 2004/early 2005 opening, a conversion of an old Piggly Wiggly building that Albertsons acquired. However, between the company's financial problems and competition in Florida heating up from Publix and Walmart, the plans for store #4493 were put on indefinite hold in mid-2004, and later canceled outright as Albertsons began its trajectory toward the 2006 split of the company.

     The split of Albertsons into two separate companies was essentially the death blow for the Florida division. The Florida division wasn't the company's best performing at the time, so it was sold off to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management with some of the other weaker divisions. Cerberus' main intent with the stores they acquired was to get to as much money out of them as they could - which meant selling and closing stores to get the most value out of the real estate. Store #4384 was part of the first store closing round issued by Cerberus' new company, Albertsons, LLC., only one week after the new company was formed. Only two years old, built in an area that was still growing, and probably not showing sales up to its full potential, Cerberus probably wanted no part of this place. All that going against it, store #4384 got the axe right at the start (much like the fledgling Super Saver chain Albertsons created in 2004, which was killed off in the company's 2006 breakup because the stores hadn't had the time to prove themselves yet). #4384 sat empty until late 2009, when LA Fitness took over the building and gutted it for a new gym. 

     Thankfully, this building was an earlier acquisition by LA Fitness, meaning the conversion of the old supermarket into a gym kept the original facade from the previous tenant. Going into the mid-2010's, LA Fitness began to be more thorough with their supermarket conversions, ripping apart the entire facade to match their standardized design in addition to the interior modifications. Besides one minor modification I'll point out in a moment, the entire facade appears to be original from Albertsons - even the paint colors!

     Stepping onto the front walkway, here's a look from the right side of the building toward the entryway. These 2003 and 2004-built Floridian Albertsons stores would have had three sets of doors into the store - a side entrance at the far right into the "grand aisle", the main entrance in the middle, and a side entrance at the left end of the building for the pharmacy. All of the dark orange painted arches on the front of the building signify where all of these entrances would have been. The first window cutout visible before me was the "grand aisle" side entrance, now converted into an emergency exit for LA Fitness.

     All of these windows are original to Albertsons - at least the placement of them, that is. LA Fitness might have replaced the windows themselves, but they were always here.

     Albertsons' (and now LA Fitness') main entrance comes into view here. The one exterior modification LA Fitness made to the facade (which I mentioned before) is visible in this photo, if you look to the left. When Albertsons was here, there were lattice panels installed in those arches that went all the way to the ground, meaning access to the store's main entrance was only possible by walking around the side, putting the main entrance in a little tunnel (I guess that's the best way to describe it). With three sets of doors, that set-up probably wasn't super confusing for people shopping at Albertsons to find their way in (as there were multiple entry options), but with LA Fitness consolidating into one entrance right in the middle, the old set-up probably was a bit confusing. LA Fitness ripped out the lattice panels (except for the very top of the panels with the arch), so you can just walk right from the parking lot to the main doors.

     Walking past the main entrance, the old pharmacy door is visible in the distance.

     Like the "grand aisle" entrance, the pharmacy entrance was also converted into an emergency exit.

     Back out in the parking lot, here's a close-up of the arch over the old pharmacy door.

     I know I said this once already, but I have to say it again, all the arches really make for a visually appealing shopping center!

     Here's a close-up of the main entrance, and what remains of the original lattice panels. To enter Albertsons, you would have walk to either side of the dark orange painted portion of the facade to find the entrance. Now, you just walk right through it to get to the door.

     On the far right side of the building we find the old liquor store, beyond the former "grand aisle" entrance.

     Interestingly, the old liquor store is now home to a veterinarian's office - one of the more unusual reuses for an old liquor store that I've seen!

     The veterinarian reused the original doors from Albertsons, but gutted the remainder of the interior to suit the needs of a medical office.

     Here's a better look toward the entrance of the old liquor store, with the remainder of the shopping center stretching out beyond it.

     So that's what remains of (what was) Florida's newest Albertsons store. Even though we're finished with our look at the old Albertsons, let's take a moment to explore what else surrounds it:

     When it was built in 2004, the small shopping center Albertsons anchored (named the Shoppes at Sherbrooke) was to also include a small strip of stores to the right of the main supermarket building, and a new Eckerd pharmacy on the corner-facing outparcel. 6 years later, a Walgreens appeared across the street to give CVS (who took over the old Eckerd building) some competition. While we're here, we'll take a moment to explore those two pharmacy competitors and what has become of their buildings...

     First up, we have the old Eckerd building in the parking lot of the old Albertsons store. While Albertsons was able to get two years out of their new building, Eckerd wasn't even able to open here. 2004 marked the year that Eckerd sold off its stores in Florida to CVS, with this store going into CVS's control as it was being built. I've seen a few other examples of Eckerd stores still under construction when the CVS deal happened, pretty much all of which just finished out construction and opened as CVS instead. While that scenario sounds intriguing, from what I've seen, CVS just let these buildings finish being built as Eckerd wanted them, but with CVS's signage and decor installed in the end. Really, this store looks no different than a CVS that opened in a building Eckerd had operated out of for years prior. But we're here, so let's pop inside really quick for a look around:

     One way to tell the difference between an older freestanding Eckerd building and one built right before the sale to CVS is by the doors. The older stores just had a single set of double sliding doors as an entrance, with the later stores having the set-up seen here (two separate single doors to serve as a dedicated entrance and exit).

     The interior is pretty typical CVS, this location having the curving center aisle leading to the pharmacy, with the other aisles branching off of it.

     A fancy wine display can be found on the right side wall in the grocery department.

     After the wine, a row of coolers follow on the right wall.

     Greeting cards are located on the back wall, with the pharmacy counter in the back left corner of the building, straight ahead from where I was standing.

     Here's a closer view of the pharmacy counter, signifying where the main aisle ends.

     Back in the main aisle, here's another look toward the front of the store. Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and health products occupy the aisles to my right, with groceries and all the other merchandise to my left.

     Here's a quick look into the health and beauty side of the store.

     Aisle 1 runs along the front of the store, with the registers on the opposite side of the entrance.

     The aisle marker got in my way, but one of the more interesting things about these later freestanding Eckerd stores is the giant neon signs just inside the entryway. Eckerd would have had a neon sign that said 'Welcome to Eckerd' there instead (part of which can be seen in this photo), but it's nice to see CVS replicated the idea of putting a neon sign in the same place! The sign at this store wasn't switched on when I was here, but I've seen other CVS locations with these signs still turned on regularly.

     So that wraps up our look at the CVS. Since I had a little extra time, I decided to venture across the street to the Walgreens building. Typically a run-of-the-mill Walgreens isn't something that would catch my interest, but this one at least had a little quirk to it:

     Much like Albertsons, Walgreens wasn't able to make it at this intersection either. Even though Walgreens was a later addition to this intersection (not arriving until 2010), this store was also short-lived. Walgreens closed this store in 2016 after only 6 years, which was a longer run than Albertsons pulled off, but still not great. The Walgreens building sat vacant until 2018 or so, when one of the most popular purveyors of old drugstore buildings took over this space: Dollar Tree. Saying that, a Dollar Tree in an old Walgreens isn't anything super uncommon, but it's interesting to see what Dollar Tree recycled from Walgreens, and gives me a reason to add a few additional photos to this post...

     The exterior of the building is still original to Walgreens. All Dollar Tree did was add their signs, and replace Walgreens' logo in the windows above the door with theirs (which was more visible in the previous photo).

     Stepping inside, Dollar Tree made some modifications like ripping out the old tile floors and walling off the pharmacy counter, but the lighting seems like a leftover from Walgreens.

     Looking across the back of the store, the old pharmacy counter was walled off so Dollar Tree could add shelves and coolers back here. I don't know if the old pharmacy counter is still back behind the wall or if it was ripped out completely, but there's no trace of it anymore from the salesfloor.

     As you can tell by the signs, these photos were taken in the good old days when everything at Dollar Tree was still $1, and before we knew anything about a pandemic turning the world all topsy-turvy. As of February 2022, Dollar Tree has completed their rollout of bringing all stores to the new $1.25 price point, so I guess I can now officially start referring to Dollar Tree as the "$1.25 Store" now, since they're no longer truly a "dollar store"...

     Along the right side wall, Walgreens' coolers would have been located where the shelves of cleaning supplies are now. The photo counter would have been in the corner at the end of this aisle.

     Dollar Tree's check lanes occupy the same spot as Walgreens, but featuring the traditional Dollar Tree set-up instead of the long counter Walgreens would have had.

     Looking back toward the front doors, that's all I have from the inside of this place...

     Drug store distractions aside, let's head back across the street to the old Albertsons for our historic aerial images, starting off with the bird's eye aerial images courtesy of Bing Maps:


Right Side

Back - Interesting the lattice pattern from the front of the building was replicated for the loading bays too!

Left Side

     And now for the historic aerial images, courtesy of Google Earth:

Former Albertsons #4384 - 2019

Former Albertsons #4384 - 2009 - Image taken before LA Fitness moved in.

Albertsons #4384 - 2005

Future Albertsons #4384 - Early 2004 - Here the shopping center is still under construction.

Future Albertsons #4384 - 2002 - Not much to see here yet

     With the satellite imagery done, that concludes the sad story of Florida's last new Albertsons store. Albertsons wanted to make a big statement with this fancy new store, but unfortunately, the company's inner financial problems brought this store to a quick demise, with the rest of Albertsons' Florida stores following suit in the coming years.

     While that ends the story of Albertsons #4384, I have plenty more coming your way soon! I'm planning to change things up for April here on AFB. Instead of sticking to my usual schedule of new posts every other week, for April, I'll have a post for you every week. My backlog is quite large and I'm feeling motivated for this, so why not treat you guys a little bit? That being said, be sure to come back next Sunday for another new post!

So until then,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger


  1. Hey, I see a Houston and Mid-South reference in this post! Well, as far as Houston Albertsons go, an Albertsons that lasted only a couple of years was not all that unusual! That said, the Santa Fe decor is something I'm completely not familiar with as I'm pretty sure none of Houston's Albertsons had that. It looks like a bit of a regression compared to Awnings and Grocery Palace, but perhaps that was the change that was needed to help Albertsons send the message that their prices weren't sky high in Houston as was the perception towards the end of their run here. Oh well, we'll never know about that!

    Colors and some minor architectural touches aside, the overall look of the exterior of the building is not too far off from some of the Publixes we've seen on this blog. With that, it was probably a winning design with the publix...err...public, but that wasn't enough to save this store.

    I see that Houston wasn't the only place where CVS taking over Eckerd led to some very odd circumstances! I've probably mentioned this before, but now that Google Maps has better images of this situation, it's worth mentioning again. There's an intersection in my area with a Krogertsons that used to be a very short-lived Grocery Palace Albertsons with a garden center. Across the street from that, Eckerd was building a new store on land that used to be a Honda car dealership after Kroger had taken over the Albertsons in 2004. Whether the Eckerd actually opened or not is disputed, but if it did, it only lasted a few days or weeks before CVS took over and closed the store (or never opened it) since they had a brand new bespoke CVS location nearby. Walgreens had a location across the intersection for a number of years, but in 2020, Walgreens closed their location and moved into the old Eckerd/CVS that never really was an Eckerd/CVS. Well, kind of, they just moved into about a third of the building with a pharmacy-only location. The old Walgreens building became a WSS, Walgreens Shoe Store. Ok, that's not what WSS stands for and Walgreens has never had anything to do with WSS (actually, Foot Locker just bought out WSS), but Walgreens Shoe Store makes a lot of sense given the WSS name, lol. Just spin this around to see the Albertsons and the WSS:

    I've mentioned before that Kroger converted some of the Albertsons Garden Centers (the inside part of the garden center at least), including at the location above, into Kroger Dollar Stores very briefly in 2003. Mike from HHR found a news clip of those Kroger Dollar Stores in an old Albertsons Garden Center on a video on YouTube. Link:

    Speaking of Mike, that Walgreens Dollar Tree in your post looks a lot less 'green' than the Walgreens Dollar Tree Mike recently blogged about! The grass might not be greener in Houston than in Florida, but perhaps the algae or whatever that is is indeed greener here, lol. Link:

    Oh, one more completely unrelated note of interest, one grocer you guys have in Florida that we don't have here in Houston is making their way here. Gordon Food Service Stores seem to have plans to open some stores in Houston later this year according to some plans I found relating to a local shopping center. These will be the first GFS stores in Texas as far as I know. I'm not really sure if GFS stores are anything worth getting excited about, but they do have a number of Florida locations and they seemingly have survived the Publix pressure so maybe they are a legitimate grocer in their own unique way. We'll see how they do here.

    1. Florida has had a number of Albertsons stores last only a few years, and at least one that only lasted a few months too. The number of location flops Albertsons had in Florida certainly wasn't as bad as they had in some areas, like Houston, where a five-year run for an Albertsons there was a good run! This store was just cursed with poor timing, as it probably could have been successful had Albertsons had the resources to hold out longer. The Santa Fe decor only began to appear in stores around the 2003 timeframe, so it was too late in the game to have ever appeared in Houston. Santa Fe was actually Jewel-Osco's decor package at the time of the Albertsons/ASCO merger, and Albertsons liked that decor so much they began to use it as a standard package chain-wide.

      Yes, I remember you mentioning the weird situation with the Walgreens at that corner in the past. Seeing the new streetview image, that Walgreens is really tiny, and not much distinctive Eckerd architecture was left over either. I also like your meaning of 'WSS' better too! The weirdest Eckerd/CVS circumstance I can think of down here happened in the city of Sebastian, where Eckerd had just opened a store in 2004, just for CVS to close it outright after only a few months open as Eckerd. It was a weird decision as CVS still to this day has never operated a store in Sebastian itself (a decent sized town), and the old Eckerd is still empty too, with CVS listed as the owner of the building. Here's some photos of the old Sebastian Eckerd:

      I'm really surprised Albertsons never tried building stores with Garden Centers in Florida, as Albertsons was still building stores here when those were a thing, and the climate is right like Houston to operate them all year. Had Albertsons built garden centers here, they'd probably have been left to rot, as I couldn't see Publix having had any use for them. At least Kroger tried to make use of the space, even though the Dollar Stores were a flop in the end. After watching that clip, it looks like Kroger had some decent stuff in that Dollar Store too, like name brand Rubbermaid bowls. It's amazing how much better quality stuff there was available for $1 in 2003 than there is now!

      The Walgreens Dollar Tree Mike posted about was much more original inside. Dollar Tree modified the old Lake Worth Walgreens much more, removing some things like traces of the old pharmacy counter. Maybe Dollar Tree didn't want to dump too much remodeling money into that store due to the flood risk?

      I've only been inside a GFS store once. It's like a mini Sam's Club but without the membership, and as you'd expect, everything they sell is in bulk. The GFS by me always looks dead when I drive by, with very few cars in the parking lot, but they survive somehow - maybe through large orders they deliver to local businesses? GFS is mostly a Midwestern chain, but they have the Florida stores and a small presence around Pittsburgh and Buffalo, but nowhere else along the East Coast. I guess the company is doing well if they're still expanding, so that's nice to see. Hopefully GFS does well in Texas.

  2. Wow, the last Albertsons in Florida! While it is a shame that you couldn't see this location while it was still a grocery store, at least LA Fitness left you a nice facade to look at. It is also good that Yon Woo was able to find those old pictures.

    Judging by the pictures, I feel like Albertsons shouldn't have installed the lattice in the arches to block off the middle entrance. Even though there were two other doors to use, it can be annoying to have to walk through an outdoor tunnel just to get inside the main entrance.

    I like how CVS was able to keep most of Eckerd's design in-tact even though the building had not been finished. Does it seem odd to you that the building doesn't have Eckerd's famous gable over the doors? I've seen other stores from around 2004 which still use that iconic design.

    Dollar Tree does like to take over a number of old pharmacies. They especially seemed to expand into that niche after Rite Aid sold off a number of their stores to Walgreen's, just to let them be closed.

    I'm looking forward to what's what's to come in April!

    1. I'm so happy LA Fitness left the facade in-tact with this store, as it would have been a shame to lose this for the bland exterior LA Fitness uses on new-builds. One of my local former Albertsons stores (#4429) was taken over by LA Fitness in 2013, and sadly, that one got the more extensive exterior remodel. However, #4429's exterior wasn't as fancy as what we see here though.

      I agree the lattice in the arches was a poor move on Albertsons' behalf, but they were really trying to go all out with the aesthetic on this store. I've seen worse design ideas though.

      I think the building design for the new Eckerd was a one-off designed to match the rest of the shopping center, which is why the gable was changed to the look we see there, as like you, I've seen other 2004-built Eckerd stores with the regular design. I have seen Dollar Tree take over an old Eckerd or two also, but around here, they really like those old Walgreens buildings. I'm sure with that big purge of stores from the Walgreens/Rite Aid deal, Dollar Tree got a great picking for some new locations!

  3. Such a shame this store was so short-lived! It was one of the prettiest stores in the Florida Division too. I'm frustrated that those photos I had of the front end of this store were thumbnails. If Walmart and Publix had not expanded so much, so quickly and Albertsons was still #3 or #4 in Florida, I think that planned store #4493 would've been successful, for at least a few years anyway. I think they could still be operating in Pensacola to this day, but it's clear to me that when they wanted to close up the Florida division, they were going to leave all of Florida. What's odd is they have a lone store in Williston, ND of all places. I guess that store is part of the Intermountain Division, as it's not far over the border from Montana, where they have a decent presence.

    The company recently announced a "strategic review". That doesn't sound good. Albertsons will probably shrink even more in coming years, or maybe even months. Someone commented on that news from the Northeast and suggested they would probably divest the Shaws and Star Market banners, as other operators such as Market Basket and Hannaford are "eating their lunch" up there, and that Albertsons hasn't put any money into those stores in awhile. I just hope they don't divest the Southern Division. That would be sad.

    1. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in commentary. Here's why: the idea of selling divisions is 100% speculation; the company has said nothing of the sort.

      When you think about it--how many divisions are there that have enough "good stores" (nice and new, can make money) AND be able to sell successfully to a competitor AND aren't considered core markets? There was a lot of that going around in the 2000s, not so much today.

      As someone in RetailWatchers pointed out, the "strategic review" was either leaked or already at the conclusion of; especially since Albertsons is still focused on growth and not facing bankruptcy.

      My personal dream is that Albertsons joins forces with SEG and bridges Houston and Florida together, but...

    2. Interestingly, the reason A&P lasted until 1995 in Pensacola was because A&P's Pensacola stores were grouped with the company's New Orleans division, while everything else in Florida went away with the sale of Family Mart in the late 1980's. Had Albertsons grouped the Pensacola stores with Louisiana (which in turn would now be part of Dallas, if I remember right), there's a chance that pocket of stores could still be around (as Publix only entered Pensacola in 2008 when they bought those 49 stores from Albertsons). However, Pensacola would have been an island from the rest of the Albertsons stores in Dallas and Northern LA, so even then, we could have ended up with the same result we have now too.

      Like Pseudo3D mentioned, the "strategic review" can go a lot of different ways and mean a lot of different things. I know Albertsons has a lot of debt, but they seem to have founds ways to manage it and continue with remodels and sporadic new stores here and there, and even a few small acquisitions (like King's/Balducci's). We just have to see what happens, but it won't necessarily mean the worst for the company.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. You're probably both right about the speculation being blown out of proportion. I've just seen Albertsons do so much bleeding in the last 20 years, it's hard not to imagine the worst.

      When you think about it, considering they've been owned by private investors for 16 years and are still able to do remodels to all the Southern Division stores as extensively as they are, it does seem like they are trying their hardest to put up the good fight. Those Baton Rouge stores

  4. Nice 2000s Albertsons. Though that description has me wondering. What if Albertsons was not sold, or the Florida stores ended up with SuperValu?

    1. >...or the Florida stores ended up with SuperValu?
      Not good, I'd imagine. SuperValu closed a bunch of stores under their control and harmed the reputation of what it didn't.

    2. Any better than Cerberus? I'm not 100% sure as Acme was under SVU as a better-performing division, yet still closed many stores.

    3. The divisions that got sold to SuperValu were seen as the "better performing divisions" in 2006 but that was no longer the case by 2013; a lot of those stores were in really rough shape and the name had gotten tarnished. Moreover, for the most part, Cerberus actually made money on the markets they left, while SuperValu really didn't.

    4. I think no matter who took control of Albertsons, we would have ended up at the same result we have today.

  5. While I know the blog doesn't go through stores in chronological order, it still feels like a big accomplishment that it has reached the final Albertsons store to open in Florida. Even though they surely didn't know it at the time, this was a major (if sad) milestone for the chain, and also represents a major (but in this case, happy!) milestone for the blog. You're inching ever closer to your goal of having every location photographed!

    It would have been interesting to see what happened had further stores opened, specifically that one that was in the works to take over that former Piggly Wiggly. A conversion like that sounds like it could have gone poorly for a chain in less than ideal financial position, so maybe it's best that that location didn't go through. As it is, Albertsons at least gets to enjoy the fact that its final store in Florida was a very fancy and ornate new-build, rather than a sad-looking conversion. That latticework seems like a questionable choice as far as ease of navigation goes, but it sure is nice-looking, haha!

    Continuing on the theme of final stores -- as I recall, what would turn out to be Kmart's final store had a very nice design, too. As with Albertsons Florida, I wonder if Kmart had much of an idea that that would be their last ever construction. Perhaps executives could see the writing on the wall that something bad might happen soon, but at the same time, if you try to run a company with that impending sense of dread rather than a determination to keep working and move forward, there would never be any progress made. I wonder how many other stores were in other phases of development that never got off the ground, for both of these companies, and if there are other chains that have unknowingly already built their last stores in the present day.

    Concerning the new owners' sale of the property, I like your argument about the store not having time to prove itself, but I also could see the growth potential and brand-new building playing a part in it, from the sense that the property is fresh with no issues and in a growing location; that could make it ideal for a newcomer who wants to be in that area to snag a ready-made building and enjoy the growth around it rather than have to secure land and build themselves. Of course, I'm guessing the area didn't actually pan out as much as envisioned, since it not only took LA Fitness a few years to move in, but Walgreens only lasted six years themselves, also. You make a valid (and rather shocking!) point about how Walgreens outlasted Albertsons, but at least in Albertsons' case, there was an excuse for failing!

    Concerning Dollar Tree, I'm very disappointed with the move to $1.25 -- but I guess that's a story for another day, haha. I'm very excited for the weekly posts this month; looking forward to the Sing Oil Blogger's next guest post, too! Oh, and finally, sorry I've been so behind in responding -- I promise I'll get back to you soon. In fact, I have an interesting question to ask once I do...

    1. Even though I just got around to posting it, I actually photographed this location 3 years ago now. But yes, it's certainly an accomplishment to now have coverage of the last store on the blog! So now I have documentation of both the first and last Albertsons stores in Florida on the blog, and speaking of the first location, we may or may not be seeing some more related to that coming up soon too...

      I had known about store #4493 for a while, but I didn't realize until doing further research a while back that Albertsons was actually interested in the old Piggly Wiggly building. I had originally been under the impression the store would have been a new build. From the document I found, it would have been Florida's smallest Albertsons store at only 40,000 square feet, so it would have been a strange location. Albertsons was also going to attempt a smaller-format store in that size-range in Miami, which ended up getting aborted when Albertsons pulled out of that market in 2001. I would have been curious to see what Albertsons would have done to that old Piggly Wiggly building, but I guess fancy #4384 was a nicer way to bow out on Florida than a converted Piggly Wiggly would have been!

      Kmart had a lot of stores in the works when their 2002 bankruptcy happened (a lot of them Super Kmarts, as they were really looking to push harder on that format). So like Albertsons in Florida, the last Kmart was very much unintentional. I think most companies "last stores" end up being unintentional, as chains like Grand Union (the original company), Sports Authority, and Toys R Us were opening new stores right up to the end. Sweetbay is the only company I can think of that seemed to know their last store was going to be the very last. I think most companies keep opening stores hoping something will stick before the final death blow, even though it's usually a case of too little to late for most.

      Sadly, at the time Albertsons closed, there really weren't many other options for a grocer to take this building. Publix had just built a new store not too far from here at Hypoluxo and Lyons, and Winn-Dixie was not in expansion mode in 2006. Even Walmart Neighborhood Market was already nearby at Lantana and Jog, and Aldi had yet to arrive in this part of Florida. It makes sense that this building ended up being converted to a non-grocery use in the end, even though it certainly had potential for a new grocery tenant had it sat empty longer and the area was given the time to build up more in the early 2010's.

      Like you, I'm disappointed in the move to $1.25 at Dollar Tree also. I've only been to Dollar Tree twice since the change was made official in my area, but when I was there last a few days ago, I did notice some larger-size food products showing up in addition to the stuff Dollar Tree already had, so I guess that's something. And it's no problem with the delayed responses, I know you've been busy of late! I'm curious to know what that interesting question is now...