Grocery store wars heat up

DAYTONA BEACH — The area’s first Lucky’s Market roared out of the gate in Ormond Beach earlier this month and continues to draw hordes of shoppers more than a week after its grand opening.

“Oh my gosh, it’s been phenomenal. The crowds keep coming,” said Melissa Bradford, store director for the beachside Lucky’s at 101 E. Granada Blvd., on Thursday.

But the upscale Colorado-based grocer is just one of a number of national supermarket chains expanding their presence in the greater Daytona Beach area.

Others include ALDI, the German-based discount grocer that is set to open a new store in Ormond Beach along West Granada Boulevard this fall, as well as Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets, which is opening a 54,000-square-foot store at New Smyrna Beach Regional Shopping Center on May 23 that will be its largest in the Volusia-Flagler area.

Publix is also set to open a store this fall off of LPGA Boulevard in Daytona Beach, just west of Interstate 95.

The store will become the anchor tenant of a shopping center called Latitude Landings next to the entrance of the fast-growing Jimmy Buffett-themed Latitude Margaritaville 55-and-older community.

Lucky’s is also believed to be considering a second store in the area at the northeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards in Daytona Beach.

And developers have proposed grocery store-anchored projects in both downtown Daytona Beach and Port Orange.

In addition, Sam’s Club is nearing completion of a new membership warehouse store on the southeast quadrant of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

The 140,000-square-foot store at Tomoka Town Center, which is set to open in either late July or early August, will replace the existing nearly 30-year-old Sam’s Club store on Beville Road.

The increase in supermarkets here comes amid a growing battle among grocers both locally and nationally that includes e-commerce giant Amazon and Internet home delivery meal kit providers such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh.

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Orlando developer takes over Daytona mystery grocer project

DAYTONA BEACH — An Orlando developer with plans to develop a shopping center on the southeast corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards now plans to do the same thing on the corner across the street.

Unicorp National Development Inc. on Wednesday closed its $3.3 million purchase of nine acres on the northeast corner of LPGA and Wiliamson, a site that a different developer previously had under contract and advertised as a future “grocery anchored center.”

John Albright, president and CEO of Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co., the company that sold the nine acres to Unicorp said the same specialty grocer that previous developer Tailwinds Development had been negotiating with to anchor the project remains interested in opening a store there.

“It’s basically the same grocer,” he said, adding that the grocery chain whom he declined to identify offers “a mix” of organic and natural food products.

When Consolidated-Tomoka originally announced the specialty grocer’s interest in anchoring the project in 2017, Albright told The News-Journal that the store likely would be the chain’s first in the Volusia-Flagler area.

On Thursday, Albright declined to repeat that statement, adding that the disclosure of more details would be up to Unicorp CEO Chuck Whittall.

The News-Journal was not able to immediately reach Whittall for comment.

Unicorp late last year bought 23 acres on the southeast corner of LPGA and Williamson, behind the existing RaceTrac gas station, with plans to develop a retail complex called the Shoppes at Williamson Crossing.

On Thursday, Consolidated-Tomoka announced that Unicorp also agreed to reinstate two contracts to buy additional land from the Daytona Beach-based company.

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