Permits are being finalized for a new five-building shopping center at US 441 in Eustis that will bring new restaurants and a grocery chain to the area that can't be found within 10-plus miles of the Lake County city.
A Panera Bread, Aldi discount grocery store, Tijuana Flats, Pacific Dental, Mattress Firm and Vitamin Shoppe are signed tenants, said Steven Alafazanos, a vice president for Win Development, a national developer. Only one of the five building "pads" lacks a tenant, he said.
Win is in the process of getting final permits from Eustis and St. Johns' Water Management District for the development.
"We are looking to hopefully be turning some dirt in the next couple of weeks," said Alafazanos. Plans are to develop the five pads for the restaurants and the parking lot upfront. Panera and Aldi will pull permits and construct their own stores on the site, he said.
The center is 44,200 square feet. Aldi at 17,018 square feet is the largest and has its own pad. Panera will have its own building as well at 3,694 square feet. The other three building pads are for multiple tenants. One is 7,888 square feet, another is 9,600, and the last is 6,000.
Alafazanos plans to have the structures ready for all the tenants by Christmas.
The architect is Fisher and Associates LLC in Clearwater. A contractor has not been chosen, Alafazanos said.
The new shopping center will fill a gap on the north side of US 441. There is a fairly new shopping center to the west and a Chili's restaurant to the east. Across the street are a Wal-Mart and a Target, making the area a busy node.
"We are very excited about the Eustis Retail Center and the tenants planned for this prime location on US Highway 441," said Tom Carrino, director of economic development for the City of Eustis.
"Many of these businesses are unique to the area and will offer our residents some great shopping and dining options. The City worked closely with the developers during the site planning process to design a retail plaza that was attractive to end-users. We look forward to final engineering approval and building construction," Carrino said.