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Hitchcock’s leaders were interested in opening a store in east Gainesville where a Bravo is likely to open up

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The east side of Gainesville is one step closer to getting a grocery store. City commissioners voted 6-1 to move forward with drafting a term sheet that would give American Rescue Dollars to Fredric Washington to help him build a Bravo along Southeast Hawthorne Road.

Hitchcock’s leaders said they were interested in opening up a grocery store in the same space a year ago.

“There was no real productive feedback, if you will, from the city in pursuing anything further as far as any type of incentives or any type of cooperative efforts to make something come to realization in east Gainesville,” explained Jay Hlavay, the Chief Financial Officer of Hitchcock’s Markets.

Last year real estate broker Patricia Lee sent City Manager Lee Feldman the contact information for Carlos Alvarez and his daughter Giselle of Hitchcock’s. According to public records, Feldman replied to Lee stating he had reached out to Alvarez. The email thread stops there.

RELATED STORY: Gainesville commissioners move forward with their efforts to help fund an east side grocery store

At Thursday’s commission meeting last night, Feldman stated he hadn’t heard from anyone at Hitchcock’s.

“I have never received a call from Hitchcock’s either before Ms. Lee’s a discussion with me or after,” explained Feldman.

The efforts in 2020 essentially faded away. Washington approached city leaders this year about bringing a Bravo to east Gainesville. Now it appears it is on track to open.

Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker said people in the area say they want to see a Hitchcock’s.

“There are a number of people who approached me and said commissioner we would like to see a Hitchcock’s in that space,” explained Duncan-Walker.

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Hitchcock’s officials tell TV20 they remained interested in the space up until late June. They said unless something drastic changes, it wouldn’t be smart to move into the area financially. However, they are still interested in coming to east Gainesville.

“I think there are other ways that we would still pursue other deals in that area. Carlos is very interested,” explained Hlavay.

Just a year ago, this type of deal was something they were hoping to make to bring a grocery store to east Gainesville. As of right now, Bravo is the grocery store moving into that part of town as the city attorney drafts the final agreement.

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