Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new store in Uptown Tampa on Friday, the grocery chain announced.
The store will be at University Mall at 2150 E Fowler Ave., where a massive redevelopment project is underway to turn the mall into a mixed-use innovation village.
The Uptown Tampa location will be the Phoenix-based organic grocery chain’s 43rd store in Florida, according to Sprouts’ website. Sprouts is also developing a store across the bay in St. Petersburg’s Skyway Marina District.
The new Tampa store will be nestled within the shopping district of RITHM at Uptown, which stands for Research, Innovation, Technology, Habitat and Medicine. The 100-acre mixed-use project is set to transform an area hit by the decline of malls into a tech center with retail, housing, hotels and entertainment.
Sprouts signed a lease for a 23,200-square-foot store with the project’s development firm, RD Management LLC, in 2021.
“This is an urban neighborhood, walkable, a live-work-play type of environment,” said RD Management chief development strategist Christopher Bowen. “It’s really critical that we have a best-in-class green grocer really involved with the neighborhood.”
RITHM is approved for more than 4,500 residential units and is working on two Marriott hotels along with more office space. The shops that will be added to the development, including Sprouts, will cater to the lifestyle of the residents, Bowen said, adding that many of them will be college students from the University of South Florida.
Sprouts was built over a former parking lot in front of the video production studio Vū Tampa Bay. Burlington will be relocated from the other side of the mall to be next to the grocer. The stores are the first businesses making up the new shopping district at RITHM.
The developer commissioned local artist Chad Mize to create a mural outside the Sprouts titled “Algorithm,” which features a collage of Tampa symbols such as pirates, the USF Bulls and the 813 area code mixed with scientific icons of beakers, the medical caduceus, rockets and more.
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Once Sprouts debuts on Sept. 15, the store will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We are thrilled that Sprouts is planting another seed in the city of Tampa, expanding its business to offer fresh, quality food to more of our residents while creating hundreds of jobs that will positively impact our local economy,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement. “I look forward to watching this market bloom!”