Groundbreaking set for new Bradenton grocery store

About 400 people have been invited to the Oct. 22 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Minnie L. Rogers Plaza and Retail Center in Bradenton, which will feature a Save-A-Lot grocery store and other retailers, a city official said Monday.

“It will be a big celebration, not only for the Central CRA residents but for the city of Bradenton,” said Tim Polk, executive director of Bradenton’s Central Community Redevelopment Agency, which is overseeing the project.

The 16,000-square-foot grocery store will be located along First Street and 13th Avenue West — the site of the former 13th Avenue Community Center ­­— and will be easily accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, Polk said.

The Bradenton City Council approved a project development agreement this spring, and construction is expected to begin mid-December. An ad-hoc committee unanimously recommended to the CCRA board naming the plaza after Minnie L. Rogers, a former community leader and advocate.

“She’s very deserving of it because she was very hardworking and active in the community,” said Rogers’ granddaughter Cherie Shanks Johnson, 79. “We are very happy for her.”

Johnson said there will be at least 20 family members present at the 3 p.m. groundbreaking, including Rogers’ youngest daughter, Mary, 79, who will be flying in from San Francisco for the occasion.

At least 30 percent of the project’s workforce will be from Bradenton and at least 70 percent from Manatee County, according to the development agreement between the city and the Alabama-based developer, New Start Community Development.

City officials hope the new stores will provide healthy and fresh food options for the community.

A development review committee that includes police, fire and public works officials will determine if the store will be open 24 hours a day, but that is still to be determined, Polk said.

Refreshments and entertainment for children will be provided at the groundbreaking, a news release said.

Over the decades, the site has been home to a nursery school and served as a hub for social gatherings and other community affairs.

“This is going to be a historic occasion,” Polk said. “Not only from the standpoint of the land being redeveloped but also ... the historical aspect of the site will continously be worked on. It will have some designation for historical character.”

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