The Bailey’s General Store has been a staple on Sanibel and has provided groceries, hardware, and general needs to tourists and residents, long before any bridges were built.
Recently, Bailey’s owner Richard Johnson said significant changes would occur to this much-loved store to enhance the shopping experience and match the needs of modern-day grocers. Exterior changes will include replacing the yellow and brown look with the flat roof that has remained for decades with more prominent, blue facades on top of the building, including the most significant one right at the grocery store entrance.
That’s not all, Johnson also said that the grocery store will be expanding further towards the south side of the shopping center, adding an additional 6,000 square feet in retail space.
To do so, the Island Cinema, a building located next to the grocery store in which the shopping center owns, will be demolished to create additional floor space for the store. Johnson said this decision came about during the COVID-19 pending when he and his staff decided to not to re-open the theatre.
With these expansion plans to add new spaces to the Bailey’s store, many of the much loved, old features will remain, including the liquor store, which will be relocated, and the coffee bar.
Additional changes include increasing the parking space for both cars and bikes, adding more vegetation around the parking area, adding charging point for electric vehicles to some parking spots, decrease the amount of developed property on the parcel, as well as bring the center into accordance with Sanibel’s Architectural Design Standards.
These renovations will ensure that the store represents the community aesthetics, not appear monolithic. The re-designed architecture will be more visually attractive for the shoppers, pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist, as wouldn’t permit noise, light and other impacts on the quiet and private enjoyment of adjacent residential uses.
This means that the shopping center’s renovations will be “constructed, maintained and improved in a manner that enhances the environment, visual and physical character of Sanibel consistent with the Sanibel Plan and its vision statement,” the ordinance reads.
These proposed changes are coming after the grocery store added more renewable energy to not only save money, but to improve the environment on the island as well.