Publix Leaving Flagler Site For Nearby 3story Jumbo Store
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Fast-growing supermarket chain Publix is delivering one of its largest locations, a 190,903-square-foot vertical store with two levels of parking set to open on the borderline of Miami and Coral Gables in July.
The three-story project at Southwest 37th Avenue and West Flagler Street is to encompass a 47,000-square-foot supermarket with two levels of parking on top, said Publix spokeswoman Kimberly Jaeger via e-mail.
An existing 21,000-square-foot Publix at The Shops at Flagler & Douglas, just a block from the project under construction, already caters to the surrounding neighborhood.
Publix is to leave the smaller location, which it leases, to move to the larger corner store under construction diagonally across.
The Florida-based supermarket chain bought the site in 2008 for $14.25 million and began developing it last year.
The site, on the boundary that divides Miami from Coral Gables, is shaped like an island and is bordered by major streets, making construction more challenging, said Joel Kaplan, project manager at construction company Moss & Associates.
Moss has handled construction of other Publix supermarkets, including one at Mary Brickell Village as well as others in Westchester, North Miami and Miami Lakes, according to its Web site.
"This is the largest store we’ve done for Publix," said Mr. Kaplan, who noted the total project encompasses 190,903 square feet, including the supermarket and a 215-space, multi-level garage.
Publix has 1,033 supermarkets, 736 of them in Florida and 179 in Georgia, according to its Web site. The company, which employs more than 146,000, is one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the US, with 2009 retail sales of $24.3 billion.
The store’s address is 106 Ponce de Leon Blvd., with the main entrance facing the boulevard.
"The larger store format allows us to carry more merchandise, including a large selection of natural and organic producers," Ms. Jaeger said.
The store is to have a full-service bakery, seafood department with a sushi section, and pharmacy. Like some of its newest models, this Publix is to have a café with a service window accessible to the outside.
Other additions to this Publix are a sit-down area, a self-serve hot bar, where customers can buy food by the pound, Ms. Jaeger noted, and a juicer station.
"The larger departments and expanded services will make for an even more enjoyable shopping experience for our customers," she said.
Although David Blount, owner of the property that houses the smaller Publix nearby, is losing the site’s largest tenant, he’s looking at the bright side: the new one could draw more foot traffic to his shopping center.
The Shops at Flagler & Douglas at 3705 W Flagler St. is home to a free-standing 21,000-square-foot Publix with a parking lot in front.
"We are marketing it and have had great interest" since the new Publix location broke ground, said Mr. Blount, who also owns Blount Commercial Realty, which handles the center’s leasing.
Next to the Publix space, a separate retail building that’s part of the center houses longtime tenants Little Caesars Pizza, ice cream parlor Carvel, seafood restaurant Key West in Miami and jewelry store Casa Iglesias.
Mr. Blount hopes Publix’s new home attracts more residents from the north part of the Gables.
"The new development has shown Publix’s commitment to that intersection," he said. "We’re excited. I think it can only be good for the surrounding properties to add more traffic to that intersection."
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