Jewel-Osco #4109 / Albertsons #4406
15020 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL - Carrollwood Commons
We've made it to November, which means the fall season is in full swing in Florida - the palm trees are green, the temperature is warm, and the air is stuffy. Doesn't sound like much of a change from summer, so the main ways we know it's fall in Florida is that Publix brings back their Turkey Cranberry Holiday Sub (check), and there's an increase of old folks with out of state plates going 20 mph in the left lane (check) - yep, it's fall in Florida alright!
For the month of November, we're going to take a look at 2 semi-related former Albertsons stores in Tampa, #4406 (the subject of today's post) and #4380 (our subject for next time) - two former Albertsons stores with odd backstories in their own respective manner, located only 2.5 miles apart on the same road. We're going to begin today with a look at store #4406, which was the older of the two former Albertsons locations, the first tale of Albertsons strange relationship with the Carrollwood neighborhood of Tampa...
Located in the northwestern part of Tampa is the Carrollwood neighborhood, a part of town that began to blossom with residential development in the late 1980's. As such, the area began to attract new retail development along North Dale Mabry Highway, the main north-south road through the neighborhood. These new stores along North Dale Mabry Highway made it more convenient for residents of Carrollwood to shop, without having the make the drive through traffic further into Tampa for their retail or grocery needs. Seeing the development hype in the area, Floridian supermarket newcomer Jewel-Osco signed-on to open one of their 75,000 square foot mega-stores as part of the new Carrollwood Commons shopping center. Opened in late 1991, the Carrollwood Commons shopping center featured anchors Target, Marshalls, and Ross Dress for Less alongside Jewel-Osco. The new Jewel-Osco store officially opened for business in October 1991, the last new Floridian Jewel-Osco store to open before the company sold all their stores to rival Albertsons in defeat in January 1992. Pictured above are two photos of the Carrollwood Jewel-Osco store #4109 upon its grand opening, taken from an album of Jewel-Osco Florida photos posted to Facebook by a member of the Skaggs family (the family who owned Jewel-Osco's parent company at the time). That album of photos is an amazing look at these behemoth short-lived stores, and includes many full-color interior photos as well (some of which I plan to feature in a future AFB post about a different Jewel-Osco location). The two photos above are the only two from that album I could confirm being taken at the Carrollwood location, as the first exterior photo shows a piece of the shopping center in the background, and the photo taken by the front doors shows the address number in the window. Based off the above photo it was a big celebration following the grand opening of this store, however in only 3 months the party would be over for Jewel-Osco...
Following Albertsons' purchase of the 7 built and opened Floridian Jewel-Osco stores (and 2 planned ones that never came to be) in January 1992, Albertsons swiftly reopened this store under their own name, most likely without bothering to remodel it (and I feel that was the same case for the other 6 stores too, as from what I've seen, Albertsons waited to remodel most of them until a few years in). If Jewel-Osco's 3 month stint in this building wasn't bad enough, Albertsons would end up closing this store after only a year and three months in business, the store closing for good on April 1, 1993. Albertsons cited increasing competition in the area (Publix and Kash n' Karry already had stores at this same intersection at the time Jewel-Osco opened), in addition to complaints that the store was difficult to access from the main road. In the past Albertsons has cited access difficulties as the reason for closing some stores after a short period in business (like #4365), so it was a common scapegoat of theirs.
Following Albertsons' closure, Albertsons retained ownership of the building, renting the 75,000 square foot space to Tampa Sports, a small local sporting goods chain. In their time here, Tampa Sports changed their name to Jumbo Sports, and later Sports & Recreation before going out of business entirely in December 1999. The building sat empty in the years following the closure of Sports & Recreation, with Albertsons finally selling the building to the owner of the rest of the shopping center in December 2002.
In an interesting plot twist, the Tampa Bay Times (then the St. Petersburg Times) published a blurb on May 18, 2003, announcing that Albertsons would be returning to this site with a new store, with construction beginning soon after the announcement. Seems like an odd choice for Albertsons to return to a building they bailed on after only 15 months in business, citing numerous reasons to leave, and then selling the building to the center's landlord only a few months prior to that announcement. I think paper may have published some misinformation there, as if Albertsons really wanted to reopen here, I doubt they would have sold the building. Also, store #4380 had opened only a few miles away by that time, making a location here a bit redundant. However, who knows with Floridian retail sometimes, but construction for what we see here now would have most likely begun in May 2003 (the Times potentially misidentifying that as construction on a new Albertsons), as American Signature Furniture held its grand opening in early November 2003. Its neighbor in the remaining portion of the former Jewel-Osco building, Designer Shoe Warehouse, opened only a few weeks later on November 21, 2003.
The arrival of American Signature Furniture and DSW brought about a total gut and rebuild of the old Jewel-Osco building, with a totally new interior and facade for the space. The remodel of this building created a new facade that doesn't really match the design of the rest of the Carrollwood Commons shopping center either, as the rest of the center has an angled/trapezoidal motif going on (which we'll see in a little bit), the old Jewel-Osco now sticking out with blockier facades.
American Signature's showroom occupies about three-quarters of the 75,000 square feet Jewel-Osco used, with DSW in the remaining quarter of the space. On the front sidewalk now, here's a look toward American Signature's entrance.
Here's is American Signature's entryway, in the approximate location of Jewel-Osco's and Albertsons' pharmacy entrance. Since the building was so thoroughly overhauled, I didn't bother to go inside American Signature and deal with furniture salespeople. Here's a quick glimpse of the interior if you're interested, looking like everything you'd expect from a modern furniture store.
Moving away from American Signature, DSW's entrance appears in the distance.
After you buy your new reclining chair at American Signature, you can pop next door to DSW for a new pair of slippers for when you want to put your feet up in that new chair!
Both American Signature and DSW were pretty generous with the use of windows on the front of their spaces, something you don't see much with stores anymore.
While we're here, I guess we'll pop inside DSW for a quick look around:
DSW's interior got the same treatment as American Signature's (which you can compare at that photo I linked before), with the same style lighting and warehouse ceiling inside - just with a bunch of shoes in here instead of sofas and mattresses.
The wall to my left is the partition between DSW and American Signature.
DSW occupies the space that would have housed both Jewel-Osco's and Albertsons' produce department, bakery, and deli island. All 7 of the Floridian Jewel-Osco stores built had virtually identical salesfloors, with this former Jewel-Osco in Palm Harbor being a clone of this one back in the day (if you want a refresher on the store's layout).
Shoes, shoes, shoes, as far as the eye can see, the jewel of this building now.
Like I said before, all those windows brought in a lot of natural light, as we can see here!
You know, seeing all these shoe store photos reminds me of a time when I was younger. My sister and I used to race each other to see who could put on our shoes the fastest in the morning, and lo and behold, it always ended in a tie.
I don't know if I ever told you guys this story, but my parents met in a shoe store. My father saw his bride-to-be walking toward him in the aisle and he exclaimed to her, "Miss, you are my sole mate!".
Now that we've learned what happens when AFB starts to run out of things to say about a shoe store, we head back outside for one last exterior photo of DSW before we turn our attention to a short tour of the rest of Carrollwood Commons:
Ross, one of the center's original anchors from 1991, has its store at the southern tip of the plaza (with the old Jewel-Osco building being roughly in the middle of the complex). In this part of the plaza we can see the original architectural motif in full force, with the angled trapezoidal design.
Going from the southern tip of the plaza toward the north end, we start with Ross as the first anchor, followed by American Signature and then DSW. Next to DSW is Dollar Tree followed by Party City, both of these junior anchors being carved out of inline space originally intended for smaller storefronts.
Dollar Tree's exterior modifications also ignored the plaza's original architectural theming, but the original design picks up again once we get to Party City next door.
I chopped off most of the sign, but here we find Party City. Although it looks like Party City's entrance should be under the tower, it's actually located further down under their sign, with the tower just serving a decorative purpose these days.
Following Party City we find Sprouts Farmers Market, the newest anchor tenant to Carrollwood Commons.
Sprouts occupies the anchor space originally home to Marshalls, which opened with the center in late 1991. This Marshalls store was closed outright in 1996, as part of a deal by TJX Stores (who bought the Marshalls chain in 1995) to close 200 Marshalls or TJMaxx stores nationwide that were within close proximity to each other, as part of the deal to finalize the sale. Marshalls closed in June 1996, and shortly after their departure, Staples was brought in to fill the void, opening very shortly after in October 1996. Staples remained at this location until the 2011-2012 timeframe, when they decided to move to a smaller space across the street in North Pointe Plaza (home to Publix and Walmart), where they remain today. Neighboring Party City used the old Staples space as a pop-up Halloween City store for a few years following Staples' move. Sprouts came along in 2017, and in the process updated the facade and rebuilt the interior of this space.
We've seen Sprouts stores before on AFB, both of the older and newer prototypes. With its 2017 opening, this location in Carrollwood features Sprouts' longtime older design, which has a heavier farmers market motif in the decor and layout. The photo above looks across the right side of the store, which is where the main entrance drops you off. This side of the store contains the few aisles of dry goods and health and beauty related items, with bulk foods and produce just out of frame to my left.
With the old Jewel-Osco/Albertsons building lacking in much of any relics anymore, I decided to do a quick walk around Sprouts while I was here to add a little bit of supermarket related coverage to this post. Above we have an overview of Sprouts' produce department, which is located in the back of the store. Produce is one of Sprouts' signature offerings (like most organic-leaning stores), so quite a bit of space in this store is dedicated to it.
Some homey farm-related images line the walls, relating back to the farmers market theme Sprouts used to go for. With their newer locations, Sprouts ditches that homey farm feel for a sleek modern design that looks like it was inspired by Lucky's (and other new-wave organic grocery stores that were booming in the late 2010's). I actually like Sprouts' older look better, as it relates better to the "farmers market" theme (although the new look isn't bad, but I feel it takes Sprouts in a different direction than what they were originally going for to set themselves apart).
At least in Florida, Sprouts got lucky with the fallout from Lucky's and Earth Fare. Outside of our usual organic stalwarts Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, and Trader Joe's, Sprouts is the only other major organic chain left in Florida doing any type of major expansion (as Publix seems to be letting Greenwise Market fizzle out on its own, now that the threat of Lucky's is gone). Sprouts has taken the place of being the organic chain that will go into the more suburban areas the much choosier stalwarts won't, and seem to be holding their own. Unlike Lucky's and Earth Fare, Sprouts is a much larger chain with a larger national footprint and more stability behind it, so hopefully they'll be around Florida longer than their former competitors were.
The left side of the store is home to the service departments, including meat and seafood (pictured here). The deli is located to my left in this photo, with the bakery just beyond that in the store's front left corner.
Lots of wooden accents visible here to add to the farmers market vibe, including in the decor. I've mentioned this before, but I have to say again that Sprouts' bakery signage has a strong Albertsons Industrial Circus/Broadway vibe to it.
To complete the farmers market motif, what better than a giant silhouette of a barn at the front end?
While Sprouts redid the entryway upon moving in, here we can see they also preserved the original architectural details that date back to the Marshalls days to either side.
Continuing our northward journey toward Target, I spotted an abandoned Payless ShoeSource. This is actually the storefront adjacent to Target's building, and is now home to a Bath and Body Works. I guess poor Payless was always on the heels of DSW at the other end of the plaza...
And finally, our walk through Carrollwood Commons takes us to the center's largest anchor store: Target. Target #655 here at Carrollwood Commons is a fairly typical early 90's Target build, which received the company's P17 decor (the gray walls look) in the last few years.
Since I walked all the way over here (and to give this post a little more substance), let's take a quick spin around the interior:
This is a left-aligned Target store, with shoppers entering into the clothing department on the left side of the building, with the hardline departments off to my right.
The left actionway is home to all the women's clothing departments, with men's clothing along the back wall next to the fitting room, and children's clothes further to the right. And do I spy more shoes in this photo too?! Seeing all these shoes, shoes stores, and shoe departments in just one post has been quite the feet! (Yes, that spelling is intentional.)
By the end of this post you guys are probably going to want to throw a shoe at me, with all the shoe wordplay I've made you suffer through so far. But I don't want to flip flop subjects too much right now, so let's get back on target (he says as he dodges a flying shoe). The photo above looks across the back of the Target store, looking from men's clothing toward baby products and electronics.
As usual with P17 decor, electronics is the only part of the store that still gets to see a pop of red on the walls, which breaks up the gray a little bit. P17 is one of those decor packages that looks much better in its full form, with all the accent lighting and props intended for it. A lot of Target's remodels to these older stores seem to have been on the cheap side, hence the cheap looking and somewhat blah results we're used to (with this store being on the more blah end of things).
The right side of the store is home to the grocery department, with the various houseware related departments off to my right, and seasonal behind me.
One of the few wall signs used in P17 decor is for Wine & Beer. I feel Target should have used more of these sub-category signs throughout the store, if only to break up a lot of the blank space on the walls in other departments.
This location had the P-Fresh set-up with the usual small "grand aisle" of produce, baked goods, and meats. The ceiling prop gives this aisle a unique feel, separating it from the rest of the grocery department.
Looking at the front wall of the building, this photo looks from health and beauty (with the pharmacy counter behind me) toward paper products and cosmetics. The empty section of shelving in front of me was the home of toilet paper and paper towels, this photo taken during that odd period of time when you could flip a 4-pack of toilet paper for $100 on the streets, and people would beat each other up for the stuff as employees dragged a pallet of toilet paper onto the floor. The things I never thought I'd see, but that's the 2020's for you...
Back out in the front actionway, here's a look toward the cosmetics department, with the front end just beyond that in the distance.
The P17 beauty departments actually look quite nice, with all the fancy lighting and unique display fixtures.
Up at the front end, this store has the older style lane lights that date back to the P09 era. That means this store remodeled to P17 in the 2017-early 2019 range, as later remodels use a glass LED backlit lane light.
Thanks for shopping at Target, with a few cheerful Bullseye dogs waving us back outside...
As we wrap up our time at Carrollwood Commons, here's one last look at Target's entryway...
…followed by one last look toward the old Jewel-Osco building.
With that final look from the ground, let's go up to the sky to begin our satellite imagery views of the old Jewel-Osco/Albertsons building, beginning with some Bird's Eye aerial images courtesy of Bing Maps:
And now for our historic aerial images, courtesy of Google Earth and historicaerials.com:
To start, here's an overview of Carrollwood Commons (on the left), with the North Pointe Plaza (home to Publix and Walmart) to the right. As a fun bonus, we'll actually be touring that Publix store across the street on MFR today, which is why I wanted to show you all where it was in relation to the former Jewel-Osco/Albertsons.
With that overview out of the way, we'll now take a look at the old Jewel-Osco building though time:
Former Albertsons #4406 - 2019
Former Albertsons #4406 - 2007
Former Albertsons #4406 - 2002 - The building in its original form - empty, but before American Signature and DSW came in to the picture. A classic trait of these old Jewel-Osco stores are those angled lines on the roof, which are clearly visible here (but were removed in the remodel).
Former Albertsons #4406 - 1998 - The building in the Jumbo Sports days. I wonder how much work Jumbo Sports did to the interior - if they redid it all or if it still felt a lot like a supermarket inside.
Former Albertsons #4406 - 1995
Future Jewel-Osco #4109 and Future Albertsons #4406 - 1984 - This part of town was just beginning to be developed at the time.
As we finish out our installment on former Albertsons #4406, here's a quick preview at where we'll be heading next time, former Albertsons #4380 just west of here on Ehrlich Road. Even though #4406 and #4380 weren't directly related (and #4380 was not intended as a replacement for #4406), the stories of the two stores do intertwine a bit, and we'll talk more about that relationship in two weeks!
Be sure to come back then, so until the next post,
The Albertsons Florida Blogger