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IGA Grocery May Open on Padre Island Next Year

Having easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables and a wide variety of fresh meats — without having to go OTB (over the bridge) — appeals to residents of Padre Island, who are excited at the prospect of an IGA family market opening there in 2019. Courtesy photos

Machinery moving dirt on a vacant lot next door to Seashore Academy on Padre Island has attracted TV cameras and reporter speculations for over a year now. It’s a Whole Foods, or maybe a Sprouts, mused reporters in May. Who knows what it will be, they said again when more machinery began moving dirt around in August. Only one thing was certain: A local grocery store topped most island residents’ wish lists.

A new announcement, the latest of about three made over the past year, is that the site at 5401 South Padre Island Drive will be home to a locally owned IGA grocery store, possibly as soon as mid-2019. It will be the only supermarket on the island and anchor a 35,000-square-foot shopping center, the Balli Shopping Mall, named after Padre Balli Park just down the road.

Earlier news stories reporting on the possible coming of groceries to the island cited the need for city permits before building could commence. Recently, the city of Corpus Christi granted a site grading permit to Lori and Mohsin Rasheed, who have built nearly 40 fast-food franchises and 15 shopping centers over their careers.

After retiring to Padre Island five years ago, the couple decided the community needed a grocery store and bought an IGA franchise.

The grocery stores for island residents are OTB, or over the bridge: H-E-B Plus or Walmart in Flour Bluff.

While the location at Park Road 22 and Commodore Drive is perfect for a grocery store, the actual land is not, Mohsin Rasheed recently told reporters. As a wetlands area, providing sewer, water, and stormwater drainage presents technical issues not easily overcome — thus the need to move all that dirt around.

If all permits are granted in a timely manner and site work proceeds without problems, Rasheed said the store should be up and running in about nine months.

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