Bradenton agency hoped grocery store plaza would be further along

jtate@bradenton.comSeptember 27, 2013 

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A Save-A-Lot grocery store and approximately eight other businesses are planned to be built along this property at First Street and 13th Avenue West.GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

GJEFFERIES@BRADENTON.COM Buy Photo

BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency projected it would close by now on land where the Minnie L. Rogers Plaza and Retail Center is to be, but the underwriting process has slowed development.

CCRA Executive Director Tim Polk said he's been following up with all players involved for project updates.

"So what I'm waiting for now is letters of interest similar to the lending partners to show that they will be a part of this deal," said Polk.

Once the deal is in place, the land valued at $745,000 will be transferred by the CCRA to New Start Community Development of Birmingham, Ala.

Polk said the developers are working out a financing deal with a company based in Tampa.

Once financing is finalized and all approvals are in place a closing date on the property will be set, said Polk.

A ground-breaking ceremony held last October illustrated the level of optimism at the time, but securing funding has delayed construction.

When construction is complete, the 3.5-acre site will be anchored by a 16,000-square-foot Save-A-Lot grocery store. Other retailers known to be coming to the shopping plaza include a Five Star Rental furniture store and a local day care and barber shop.

The plaza is projected to cost $7 million to build and take up to 10 months to complete.

Polk could not give an exact date on when construction would start, saying the main focus now is closing on the property.

Stephen Thompson, chairman of the CCRA board, said he appreciates what Polk has done to move the project forward, but he and the board wishes development was further along.

"We know you're working really hard, and it's going to come together, it's just taking a little longer than we've all anticipated," said Thompson.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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