HUDSON — “COMING SOON,” the listing on the Publix store locator website says about its supermarket at Tower Oaks Terrace at 12101 Little Road on the northwest corner of S.R. 52.
A Publix store is replacing … a Publix store. Executives at the Lakeland-based supermarket chain decided to tear down the former structure and put up a slightly smaller, redesigned building with extra features.
The fencing that had gone up at the start off the reconstruction project came down about a week ago, as the focus of the work shifted inside the retail space.
“The store is on schedule to open in September,” Brian West, public affairs, media and community relations manager for Publix Super Market, wrote in an Aug. 15 email.
West added: “It will be (about) 46,000 square feet and will include a pharmacy. There will also be an adjacent Publix Liquor store. It will include our latest interior and color scheme.
“We’re very excited to open this new store, and to make shopping more convenient for our customers in the area.”
Odessa-based PAW Demolition began knocking down the space the old Publix occupied in the Tower Oaks Terrace plaza in December. Publix closed the store Nov. 11 to begin the rebuilding process, according to Tambrey Laine, Pasco’s communications manager.
After the closure, many of that store’s customers began shopping at the smaller Publix in Fairway Oaks Plaza, at the intersection of Little Road and Hudson Avenue.
The county building permit for the reconstruction project, issued Oct. 27, estimated the valuation for the new structure at Little Road and S.R. 52 at $5,651,408, Laine reports. The valuation of permitting fees was listed at $52,923.
The location opened its doors under the Jewel-Osco name in 1989, part of the ill-fated effort by American Stores Inc. to re-enter the Florida retail grocery market. In 1992, American Stores sold the Hudson Jewel-Osco and its five other stores in Florida to Albertsons. In 2008 Publix acquired 49 Albertsons stores in Florida, including the Hudson store.
The torn-down store, had 49,990 square feet, according to Vicki Hass of Tampa-based contractor Cribb Philbeck Weaver Group, which is handling the project. The contractor built the new Publix supermarket at the corner with 46,031 square feet and adjacent liquor store with 2,600 square feet. Retail space on either side of the former Publix building remained in place.
Plans will allow for a new drive-through window for the pharmacy on the south side of the building.
Five driveways off S.R. 52 and Little Road will provide a 50-foot radius return as Pasco officials requested, Hass reports.
Publix will maintain the existing traffic pattern, Hass said, so most mature trees on the corner can remain. Plans would remove only two mature trees to accommodate truck traffic. The proposal adds landscaping buffers, along with new landscape islands in the parking lot to increase green space within the shopping center. New pedestrian paths will handle bike and foot traffic. New bike racks will be provided.