Popular local bowling alley White Sands closed in September, with construction on Tractor Supply Company store at same location ready to begin soon.

FORT WALTON BEACH — As demolition continues at the former White Sands Bowling Center, a national chain has been confirmed as the property’s next tenant.

Tractor Supply Company — a national retail chain with products specializing in home improvement, agriculture, lawn and garden maintenance along with livestock, horse and pet care — confirmed Thursday that it will open a store at 653 Beal Parkway N.W.

Alabama-based Hix Snedeker Companies secured the purchase of the land and will handle the construction of the new building, with TSC as the long-term tenant.

Hix Snedeker has handled similar developments nationwide for TSC, which has 1,772 outlets in the United States.

“There’s a process we’re following right now that requires public hearings and obtaining the building permits,” said Hix Snedeker COO Colby Cooper. “And when those permits are issued we’ll begin shortly thereafter with an anticipated opening in the first part of 2020.

“Tractor Supply Company drives the process and we’re wholly responsive to them and where they desire to place a store. (TSC) specifically wanted a Fort Walton Beach-area site, and this one met the expectations and the criteria they wanted, so we pursued it on their behalf.”

RELATED: Longtime FWB bowling alley to shut down (PHOTOS)

The local bowling community reacted with sadness when White Sands announced in June that it would close after former owner and manager Butch Hutcherson agreed to sell the land to Hix Snedeker.

The Emerald Coast Bowling Association had nine leagues with about 900 bowlers play at White Sands this past winter. There was also a youth league on Saturdays with 70 bowlers.

“Our association generally loses members when a center closes, such as Eglin (Air Force Base) and Shoal River (two bowling alleys that also shut down),” ECBA manager Bo Hill said in June. “We won’t know the full impact until the late summer or early fall.”

White Sands closed its doors for good in September, leaving Fort Walton Beach Bowl at 745 Beal Parkway N.W. as the only bowling alley in Fort Walton Beach.

Fort Walton Beach Bowl owner Don Dupree delivered on the promise to renovate his building this summer in anticipation of the extra traffic that would come over after White Sands closed.

PHOTOS: White Sands Bowling Center through the years

Fort Walton Beach Bowl’s upgrade included a change from wood to synthetic surface for all 24 lanes, new paint, new counters, a remodeled pro shop and new furniture.

“We’re also in the process of updating the scoring system,” said Heather Hughes, a manager at Fort Walton Beach Bowl. “We’re hoping for next month, but that means putting new consoles in.”

The extra business has also meant new hours. Fort Walton Beach Bowl previously opened at 3 p.m. and closed at 11 p.m. It now opens at 9 a.m. and closes at the same time.

“There’s been a lot more league bowlers,” Hughes said. “And we’re experiencing a lot more daytime business. That’s why we went to the new hours.”