Tuesday, Opp City officials announced a Northwest Florida corporation will take over an abandoned grocery store.
It’s been nearly two-years since the Opp Winn Dixie store closed its doors for the final time.
Since that time, Mayor H.D. Edgar and Chamber of Commerce officials have been looking for a tenant.
Blue Imaging of Fort Walton Beach has signed the paperwork to take over the 50,000 square foot building. Under tight security, the company maintains individual medical records from medical facilities.
Ronna Therrell operates a boutique fitness center across the street. She says, "It's great news. Folks [are] coming in to see the boutique, the gym; they are coming in and seeing what we have to offer."
At a nearby eatery, it’s much the same story: word of the new company moving in reinvigorates business in downtown Opp.
"With the coming of the bypass, business has been slow in downtown. Hopefully, it'll bring folks here with it being across the street," said Josh Smith with D-Lite.
In Opp and Covington County, with the closure of the textile industry a decade ago, Mayor H.D. Edgar wants to diversify the economy.
"Let’s not put all our eggs in one basket. We like the 25 employee jobs, just like the large companies. That way if something fails we are not that affected," said Mayor Edgar.
At this time, there is no word on when the medical record business will be ready to open in the Wiregrass.
In the next few weeks, a South Florida manufacturing firm plans on making an announcement of opening a facility in Opp. The company will hire several dozen area residents.
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