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Longboat Key Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 1 year ago

Old Publix plaza comes down

by: Kurt Schultheis Managing Editor

The new Longboat Key Publix can finally put the past behind it.

On Tuesday, Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets Inc. officially began tearing down the last remaining parcel of the old, dilapidated Avenue of the Flowers plaza.

For the last week, a contractor has worked to fence off the remaining plaza parcel and prepare the building for demolition.

The crew blocked off the west side of the building while completing the work.

The Longboat Key Town Commission originally expected the building to be torn down after Easter, per the company’s original plan. 

In a Sept. 13 email to Town Manager Dave Bullock, Commissioner Phill Younger expressed his displeasure.

“Given that the original demolition was set to occur last April, five months ago, enough is enough,”

Younger wrote. “This building is an eyesore that should be, and needs to be, remedied now.”

A month later, the demolition permit was filed.

Public officials told Bullock the demolition “ran into some internal rescheduling.”

Per an agreement reached with the town, Publix had until the end of the year to tear down the building.

Officials, though, informed town staff it would be torn down before the end of the year.

Publix has plans to install more parking spaces in its place before the Key’s seasonal population returns. 

Construction Timeline
June 2011 — Publix filed a preliminary application with the town to tear down its existing store and rebuild a larger 49,533-square-foot store.
April 2012 — Demolition of the old Publix store began. The 31-year-old store closed April 7.
May 2012 — By May, demolition was complete, and contractors were beginning work on the new Publix store.
August 2012 — Demolition of the old CVS began after the drugstore opened its new location Aug. 5, nearly two months ahead of schedule.
December 2012 — Publix opened its new 49,533-square-foot store.
October 2013 — Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets Inc. tore down the old Avenue of the Flowers plaza.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]


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