The Evans Center
When Mr. Roosevelt “Ross” Evans opened his Palm Bay market on the corner of Randolph and Florida Streets (1965) he gave his community a safe, attractive place to buy healthy foods and sundry items, and a place of employment and economic viability.
Evans Supermarket was also an important community gathering spot. Elderly residents could easily walk to the store to pick up fresh meat or a box of salt without the expense and hassle of finding transportation to stores farther away. Mr. Evans even made sure that the children waiting at his store for the school bus had done their homework!
After Mr. Evans passed away, his store deteriorated, eventually becoming a dilapidated structure that become a hangout for drug dealers.
However, an exciting movement is currently underway: the boarded up, asbestos-ridden building has been demolished. It will be replaced by an over 5,000 square foot Florida vernacular-style facility called Evans Center.
In December, 2016, Evans Center Inc purchased the former Evans Supermarket property from the city of Palm Bay. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 2, 2017 and construction began in the winter 2018. It is anticipated that construction of the Evans Center will be completed before the year is out.
The Evans Center site is located within Palm Bay’s enterprise zone and the Bayfront Community Redevelopment Area. In addition to bringing much-needed services, Evans Center is a critical project for stabilizing this community and stimulating economic growth.