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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Apr. 30, 202005:10 AM EST

Rowe’s IGA to open Commonwealth Shopping Center supermarket May 12

The Northwest Jacksonville location will operate 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 

Jacksonville grocery chain owner Rob Rowe said April 29 he intends to open a Rowe’s IGA Supermarkets store at noon May 12 at the  Commonwealth Shopping Center in Northwest Jacksonville.

He said operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. until the coronavirus pandemic eases and government-mandated restrictions are lifted.

The store is at 1012 Edgewood Ave. N.

No grand opening is planned, although Rowe expects City Council members will visit.

“At some point we will do an event. Right now we want to get open to serve our new customers,” Rowe said by email.

“What we will be doing is opening a beautiful new store and offering the best offerings we have for the current times and we will do our best to serve the area,” he said.

Like other Rowe’s Supermarkets, the store will offer groceries including deli, bakery, seafood and meat departments. There will not be a pharmacy.

Rowe said there could be issues with some sections in the store “due to shortages this virus has caused.”

Rice, pasta, dry soup, paper products, cleaners, bleach, wipes and related staples and cleaning products could be in shorter supply than pre-COVID-19.

He said vendors have cut back on variety, such as making five types of a product that previously had a dozen.

“Vendors are allocating product, so supply is real tight,” he said.

“This appears to be the new norm for a while,” he said.

Rowe’s IGA Supermarkets owner Rob Rowe is opening a new store at 1012 Edgewood Ave. N.

Rowe is not sure what will happen with the protein supply, but said “we are in excellent shape on beef, pork, poultry and seafood.”

That might change. “It appears we will be chasing product soon and paying a mint for it.”

Rowe said the store will observe social-distancing and other sanitation guidelines, such as marking the checkouts, putting arrows on aisles if necessary and watching occupancy.

The city issued permits in February for Rowe to build-out the Commonwealth store and another in Deerwood.

The Commonwealth store is a former Harveys Supermarket and the Deerwood store was a Winn-Dixie. 

Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers closed the Deerwood Winn-Dixie and Commonwealth Harveys, along with more stores, in spring 2018 as it restructured under bankruptcy laws.

On Feb. 20, the city issued a permit for Williams & Rowe Co. Inc. to renovate the Commonwealth store at a cost of $579,934.

In November, Council approved a $750,000 grant to partially finance renovations to open Rowe’s at the location, identified as an area without adequate access to a full-service grocery store.

Rowe said there isn’t a full-service supermarket within 2 to 3 miles of the Commonwealth center.

The produce area at the new Rowe's.

Council legislation provides taxpayer-backed incentives to Commonwealth landlord Saglo Development Corp. of Miami to partially finance a $3.5 million renovation of the 49,000-square-foot store with Rowe’s.

He said in October he anticipated a $5 million total investment in the project. 

Williams & Rowe also is renovating the former Winn-Dixie store at 9866 Baymeadows Road in the Deerwood area at a cost of almost $1.4 million. That city issued the permit Feb. 3.

It is next to the Deerwood Marketplace shopping area.

The store was built in 1986. Rowe bought it in February 2019.

Rowe said previously he will invest $4.5 million to retrofit the space. 

Rowe called it a work in progress and said it should be completed in the next month.

“Then we will decide when we will open,” he said.

Rowe’s IGA Supermarkets operates five stores in west, northwest, north and south Jacksonville and in Orange Park. The IGA brand serves independent grocery chains.

The seafood area at the Rowe's.


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