CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Mystery surrounds a new grocery store chain slated to move into the Coralwood Shopping Center on Del Prado Boulevard, near the Midpoint Bridge.
The City of Cape Coral is keeping the name of the company a secret for now, but says the national chain has 168 stores in 27 states. Those same numbers are listed on the website for The Fresh Market grocery store chain, although the city has yet to confirm which company is moving in.
The new store stirred up a debate among Cape Coral City Council members by petitioning to have outdoor displays of food and merchandise, something currently prohibited by the city.
City councilman Richard Leon says this is the kind of bureaucratic process businesses should not have to waste their time dealing with.
“If it’s on your property, you should be able to put it out, there’s no reason why you have to come before City Council and ask us to allow you to put out clothes or food items, things like that. It could be a month process, and that could really hamper that timeline for stores,” Leon said.
However, councilman Jim Burch says if businesses are left to do whatever they like, a blighted area, or safety hazards could surface.
The once-hurting Coralwood center has become a hub of growth and development, with an ULTA Beauty store recently opening in October and a new Home Goods scheduled to open soon. The new grocery store, which would be located between Home Goods and Bealls Outlet, will add another draw for shoppers to keep the influx of money coming in.
“It’s amazing now because this time, six months from now, it’s just going to be a completely different plaza,” Leon said.