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Dec
06

Publix Eyeing Triangle Sites

PublixIt appears that some may have missed TBJ’s announcement last week concerning Publix. It appears the excellent supermarket chain is eying sites in the Triangle.

The Lakeland, FL-based chain has nearly 1,100 stores spread throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. The expansion would mean direct competition for Charlotte-based Harris Teeter, which has stores Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, DC, Maryland, and Delaware.

If Publix wants a slam-dunk site in Raleigh, they should go into the former Hannaford and Lowes grocery store spot between Costco and Trader Joe’s. (map it) The complexion of that retail neighborhood has considerably improved since the failure of those stores, and the addition of Costco and Trader Joe’s draws people from across the entire eastern half of the Triangle already. The site has convenient I-440 access, and is a location where both Inside The Beltline and Outside The Beltline shoppers feel comfortable. The site is currently leased by a workout gym, but who are we kidding? Right?

An alternative might be the newly razed lot between the old grocery store site and Trader Joe’s. My limited understanding of this former ITT industrial property is that it has had brownfield contamination issues. Depending on the progress of the cleanup, this site could be, and should be developed into a multi-use retail/residential development that ties in to Holly Park to the north, the future light rail corridor to the east, and the Costco area to the south. It is an excellent opportunity looking 10 years forward.

As far as other areas of older north and west Raleigh go, unless an existing grocery store’s current lease is not renewed, it is hard to imagine another site for Publix that could be gracefully executed, to be honest. Perhaps Kids Hill behind Crabtree? Perhaps a corner on Blue Ridge Road? These don’t have nearly the visibility and ease of access. Old Raleigh has very few non-industrial commercial corridors. Therefore the Wake Forest/Six Forks area is absolutely the best option for capturing old Raleigh. There are other lots in that area, such as the Southern States Nissan property, but considerable terraforming will need to be accomplished to deal with the flooding that property periodically experiences.

To be honest, though, Publix could go into any safe area and do well in Raleigh. The sooner the better!

10 Comments

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  • TAK Said:

    Since Kroger is closing two locations in mid-January (Vintners Lane & MLK Jr Blvd) and the others are closing in about a year, I see Publix jumping in the mix to replace them.

    I can also see Bi-Lo trying to get a foothold in the area as well.

  • Anonymous Said:

    One thing that was surprising and refreshing when I moved to Raleigh was the variety of grocery stores. Why? Because all I had ever known had been Publix because it was basically a monopoly in south Florida where I grew up. And it is expensive, without the discount cards that all of the grocery stores have here. If they can come here and compete without taking over, great. But I definitely don’t want to end up with nothing to choose from but Publix again. Don’t get me wrong, their house brand products, deli and bakery are great, but for staples they are priced quite high. It sucks when they’re all you’ve got.

    I’m not sure about the location between TJ’s and Costco considering there is a Kroger right across the street on Six Forks (not on the Kroger closing list as far as I know). How many grocery stores does one really need in less than a square mile? Then again, it is Publix and they are somewhat predatory, so you might be onto something. As far as the locations of the two Krogers that are closing mentioned by TAK, I don’t know if Publix’s price point will work with those locations if Kroger couldn’t do well there.

  • Tim Miller Said:

    Publix was my main store in Southwest Florida (Ft. Myers/Cape Coral) – clean, laid out well, GOOD employees. Harris Teeter is a close equivalent here. Like HT, Publix is not cheap – to @miamiblue’s remark about discount cards, if Publix does come to this area, they’ll pretty much be forced to institute one to remain competitive.

    Adding Publix to this area, especially in the Costco-Trader Joe’s area, would be a big plus.

    Another plus for Publix – they hire people to have careers in their stores and pay decent wages.

  • Tim Said:

    I’m hoping that they’ll take the abandoned Kroger location in Wakefield.

  • Bacchianm Said:

    The shopping center on New Bern that has the Krogers is going to be razed for housing. As for MLK, the area is rife with crime.

  • mike Said:

    There’s already a Kroger at the Six Forks / Wake Forest intersection. Better location would be at the Enterprise car lot where Fairview Rd intersects Captial Blvd … easy access for Five Points neighborhood as well as downtown neighborhood. And fills the largest void in the central Raleigh grocery market.

  • mike Said:

    There’s already a Kroger at the Six Forks / Wake Forest intersection. Better location would be at the Enterprise car lot where Fairview Rd intersects Captial Blvd … easy access for Five Points neighborhood as well as downtown neighborhood. And fills the largest void in the central Raleigh grocery market.

  • Joe Said:

    They’re going to the SE corner of Creedmoor and Millbrook. The same developer that’s building their centers in Charlotte ownes the 7 acre parcel at that corner, and the zoning was recently changed to CUD SC.

  • mike Said:

    Bad location. Food Lion across the street and Kroger 1 mile up Creedmoor.

  • Fts Said:

    Publix did just fine in the Charleston market without a discount card. All other grocery stores there use them too. Was one of the reasons I preferred shopping there.

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