New store replaces Sweetbay in St. Pete's Midtown neighborhood - WFLA News Channel 8

New store replaces Sweetbay in St. Pete's Midtown neighborhood

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When the doors closed at the Sweetbay Supermarket on 22nd St. South back in February, dozens of people lost their jobs, and hundreds more lost their only access to fresh food and groceries.

City leaders knew they had to do something to get a grocery store in the Midtown neighborhood, and seven months later, they've made that a reality. A Walmart Neighborhood Market will open in the 39,000 square foot space sometime in January.

"I honestly do believe in my bones that this an excellent fit for this community and for Walmart," said Larry Newsome, president of Urban Development Solutions, a key player in this deal. "This store is going to be successful for many, many years to come."

Walmart will open a temporary hiring office in October. The company plans on hiring 95 employees. They'll start working to get the store ready for its grand opening in December. It's a proud moment for community leaders who worked hard to make the deal happen.

"We kept our promise. We are promise keepers and we will have a store where people can buy fresh goods and services and not have to worry about catching a cab or a bus," said Pinellas County School Board member Rene Flowers.

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