What will become of the old Eckerd building in Roseland?

Former Eckerd building in Roseland, Florida.
Former Eckerd building in Roseland, Florida.

SEBASTIAN, Florida – There have been a few rumors on what the former Eckerd drug store located at the corner of U.S. Highway 1 and Roseland Road may become.

This Roseland property has a history that dates all the way back to 2004. The Eckerd building was closed not long after it opened. It was the year of rivals in the drugstore business.

I remember shopping in the store around that time and overheard the manager telling an employee that the store might close. The two laughed as if that would never happen. We now know what happened with that rumor.

When Jack Eckerd, founder of the drugstore chain, died in 2004 there was a big shakeup in the company. To make a long story short, Eckerd Corp. was bought out and nearly dissolved by Rite Aid and CVS to compete with Walgreens.

Unfortunately, some Eckerd stores had to close while others turned into Rite Aid or CVS Pharmacy. The Roseland location was one of the stores to shutter.

Without going into more details about what happened with our local Eckerd (it gets complicated), the building has remained vacant for over a decade. When a building sits, it’s never good, and it becomes a nightmare for the buyer to bring it up to code.

Over the years, some potential buyers wanted a price reduction to offset the costs to make repairs. Negotiations stalled, and a deal to sell the property faded away. It’s been the same story for more than a decade.

Fast-forward to 2018; there have been a lot of rumors. There have, in truth, been some big names interested in the property, but no deal made.

Some companies, such as restaurants, were interested but couldn’t meet the county code for parking spaces. Parking is limited unless you merge the land next to it, but then that could become problematic with county zoning.

Will the property become an Outback Steakhouse? That’s the latest rumor! According to a spokesperson with Outback, there are no plans to expand the chain into Sebastian or Roseland at this time.

We also squashed the rumor that ALDI was coming to Sebastian or that the Roseland location would become a grocery store. Not happening right now.

There was also the rumor that Burger King was opening another in Roseland, directly across the street from the old Eckerd. That’s not happening, at least that’s what the corporation told us. That doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about expanding their franchise to be on U.S. Highway 1. Also, they would have to compete with McDonald’s next door and Checkers across the road. So, this may be a secret worth keeping quiet, you never know.

What will become of the property? So far, absolutely nothing. It’s now being used as a cell phone charging station for the homeless population. At least we know the electricity works.

Sure hope it doesn’t turn into another Dollar store.

This former Eckerd building will likely be bulldozed and turned into something else. We sure waste a lot of concrete in this county. Remember the new Raceway near I-95? That building was bulldozed so that it could become a new RaceTrack.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.