Mike Iglehart is not just the general manager at the under-construction IGA Island Market grocery store. He's also among the large group of Padre Island residents who are ready to be able to do their shopping without driving over the JFK Causeway.
“This is so exciting for the island," he said. "This is what this island has been wanting for so many years."
This particular store, located in the lot along Park Road 22 and Whitecap Boulevard, has been five years in the making. Iglehart just came on board a year ago.
“It’s taken five years of a lot of hard work and a lot of planning by Laurie Rasheed and her husband, through COVID, through hurricanes, you name it," Iglehart said. "And they have stuck to it the whole length of time."
They may have to stick to it a bit longer.
The Rasheeds and Iglehart both said they hope to open Island Market in early November, or at least by the middle of the month.
But in order to do that, the city said the grocery store and the four other businesses in the complex still need a number of permits. With contractors still working on plumbing, electrical wiring, and other attributes, it will be close as to whether the complex will be able to pass the necessary inspections needed to meet its goal.
“Really it comes down to, not what we think, but how their general contractor performs (as to when a business can open)," City Manager Peter Zanoni said.
If the building fails an inspection, contractors must make repairs and resubmit their work for city approval.
Zanoni said the speed of the process depends on how quickly contractors get the improvements made, so customers can be assured of a safe shopping experience.
“We want to help a grocery store like IGA that’s long been desired on the island open up as soon as possible," Zanoni said. "But we also want to be mindful of the general community and the visitors’ safety.”
Iglehart is confident that his store, and the other four in the complex, will pass inspections and make their goal of November grand openings.
“I think all the inspections are going to come back just fine," he said. "We’ve made sure we’ve done everything that’s been asked and surpassed everything that they’ve asked us to do.”