UNIVERSITY PARK -- Floor & Decor, a specialty retailer of hard surface flooring, is coming to University Park.
The store will occupy the 65,000-square-foot space vacated by Albertsons, which closed in mid-2012. The space, located at 8415 Lockwood Ridge Rd. in a strip mall next to an Advance Auto Parts, has been completely gutted and the store front has been renovated. It will open Nov. 21.
"We have stores in Brandon, Clearwater and Tampa, so we've had customers come from this area and we knew we would help the consumers by coming here," said general manager Mickey O'Sullivan.
The Atlanta-based chain has nearly 40 stores across the country. The University Park location will be Florida's eighth. About 55 employees will be hired to fill the new store.
The retailer is known for its porcelain and ceramic flooring, but also offers marble, granite, wood and decor products.
Flooring materials are available that day and free 14-day storage is offered for customers who can't take their purchase home immediately, O'Sullivan said.
"Customers can see that the stack of tile is there, so they can take two palettes home and complete the job that day," he said, pointing to palettes that were already stacked six feet high.
A special "Pro Event" will be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 for home professionals: contractors, designers, house flippers and real estate agents. They'll get a sneak peek of the new store and can purchase items that night.
Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@sabrinarocco.