|Published:||Jul 14, 2012 8:38 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 15, 2012 12:14 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS Fl. - A south Fort Myers shopping plaza that's been dormant for years is seeing much more traffic now all thanks to a multi-million dollar face lift that includes several new stores.
The plaza is located on U-S 41 right near the College Parkway intersection. Just a few years ago, a Publix was the anchor store there.
Now, a West Marine is taking over the plaza along with several other stores including a Pet Supermart and an Ada's Whole Food Market.
Store owners and new employees say this revitalizes the area.
The pavement is laid and the signs are up. This 50-thousand square foot south Fort Myers plaza is open for business.
"110,000 cars a day that traffic this corner, it's absolutely unheard of. We call it Main and Main from a developer's perspective," says Dan Creighton with Creighton Companies.
Developer Dan Creighton says that made it a perfect place to revitalize.
"Getting rid of blight in a great corner. This things's been empty for the last three or four years," he adds.
When construction is all through, the former Publix location will be home to a Five Guys, Ada's Natural Foods Market, Radio Shack, a Pet Supermarket and the largest West Marine store on the west coast of Florida, combined, a big job generator for the area.
"Well over 300 jobs," Creighton adds.
"This store alone has over 60 employees and we're still hiring," says West Marine store manager, Jonathan Andrews.
Andrews says he couldn't have asked for a better place to move their stores.
"With Five Guys... everyone that's going to be in this plaza, there's just going to be so much traffic out here," he adds.
For new employee Will Griffin, he's just thankful to have this position in a tough economy.
"Extremely important. It provides me with another source of income," he says.
West Marine is holding a grand opening event starting this Thursday. Store managers tell WINK News a host from the show 'Deadliest Catch' will also be there to meet customers and help raise money for eight local charities.