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East County Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 8 months ago

Plan suggests Publix expansion in Lakewood Ranch

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Site plan filed with Manatee County points toward Publix coming to State Road 64 and Pope Road.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Publix Supermarkets appears to be planning for another Lakewood Ranch grocery store at the corner of Pope Road and State Road 64.

The company has already begun construction at its new store at the northeast corner of Lorraine Road and State Road 70, and a new development application suggests another store is on the way at Pope Road and S.R. 64.

The property owner, Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, has filed a site plan with Manatee County for “Publix Shopping Center at S.R. 64 and Pope Road.” The proposed site plan depicts a roughly 38,400-square-foot Publix with additional retail and three out-parcels.

The contract purchaser is listed as Fort Myers-based NAP LR6, LLC, whose address is registered to developer North American Properties. Most recently, in Lakewood Ranch, the company developed the Publix shopping center at the northeast corner of Lorraine Road and University Parkway. North American’s Mark Turner, vice president of construction and development, did not return calls for comment by press time Tuesday.

Publix spokesman Brian West said he could not confirm the site would be a Publix location.

“The vast majority of locations we lease, we don’t own,” West said. “There’s a lot of due diligence before we ever sign a lease. There is nothing to talk about until [then].”

He did say Publix is on schedule for its S.R. 70 location, which it intends to open in the fourth quarter. The 48,000-square-foot store will be Publix’s newest prototype.

“The entire deli is on the sales floor, so you can walk all the way around it,” West said. “It’s just trying to make it more convenient for our customers.”

The store also will have a mezzanine area above the entrance with seating for about 50 people. There, customers can go to connect to Wi-Fi and have a place to relax, socialize or eat.

The layout can be seen in Publix’s newest Parrish location, which opened in August 2019.

The new S.R. 70 store will include a pharmacy and have an adjacent liquor store, West said.

The store will be Publix’s fifth location within Lakewood Ranch proper.

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