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Publix readies to start work on new grocery


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 19, 2001

SPRING HILL -- Fueling commercial development in a popular area, Publix is only weeks away from the county's signing off on plans to build a grocery store in the heart of the community.

Publix likely will receive permits within the next few weeks for a 44,271-square-foot grocery store on the northeast corner of Mariner and Northcliffe boulevards, said Donna Beckett, site-plan review coordinator for the county's Development Department.

Construction permits will be ready next week for two additional buildings that will hold shops next to the grocery store, Beckett said.

Those buildings are 7,200 square feet and 5,000 square feet in size, she added.

Beckett did not know when Publix plans to break ground.

Lee Brunson, spokesman for Publix, said he could not comment on any projects until leases are signed.

"Until we have that signed lease, we won't be able to confirm or deny that," he said.

Publix representatives appeared before the county's Development Review Committee on Nov. 2 for a site review and last week for a building review, Beckett said.

The shops will house retail stores, but Beckett did not know which ones. Publix was also listed as the architects and engineers on the project, she said.

The move reflects increased commercial activity in that area and the expectation for it to be one of Hernando Count's hottest spots for business development.

Last summer, Kash n' Karry announced the expansion plans for its store at the same intersection, adding 9,922 square feet for a total of 42,922 square feet.

More than a year ago, the restaurant La Bella Napoli relocated from its previous home off Kass Circle to a spot near the intersection.

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