Second Publix coming to busy Brickell/ I-95 area
By Paola Iuspa
With at least nine commercial and residential buildings under construction or being planned, Brickell Village will soon have its second Publix supermarket.
The grocery chain plans to begin construction of a 27,000-square-foot store on Southwest Third Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets in four weeks, said Barney Danzansky, president of Equity Ventures Realty and the contractor building the store. The new supermarket, south of the Miami River and west of Brickell Avenue, will help ease the parking and shopping jam at the neighborhood's only other one, also a Publix.
Publix at Brickell Village, 134 SW 13th St., was built in 1996 by Harvey Taylor's Taylor's Development & Land Co.
Neighbors said they will welcome the new supermarket because it would help distribute shoppers between two locations and lessen time waiting in lines.
"The parking lot is always full and Publix is always busy," said Daniel Ponce, general manager of Brickell Key Master Association. "A new Publix will be great for the area."
Mr. Danzansky said his company has already started pre-construction work at the site and plans to finish demolishing old structures in about a week. Construction is planned to begin April 1 and would take 10 months. He said the store will be built atop a parking garage on the first floor.
Mr. Danzansky said the store, to be about half the size of a standard Publix warehouse, would resemble in size and design a salmon-colored one in Delray Beach. That store opened a year ago and includes a full-service bakery, deli and seafood department.
Tory Jacobs, president of the Brickell Homeowners Association, said a second supermarket is due since about 8,900 rental and condo units are planned or under construction in the Brickell area, south of the Miami River, east of I-95, west of Biscayne Bay and north of Southwest 26th Road.
Mr. Jacobs said Publix is also negotiating to build a third store at the proposed Mary Brickell Village in the 900 block of South Miami Avenue. The project, by Constructa, which also built CocoWalk in Coconut Grove, would include stores, restaurants and a 12-story hotel tower.
Lourdes Slazyk, assistant director of the City of Miami planning department, said she was aware of Publix officials' intention to open a third store in the Brickell Village area.
Lee Brunson, Publix spokesman, confirmed construction of the Publix at Southwest Third Avenue but would not confirm plans for a third Brickell location.
Experts said retail chains such as Publix conduct extensive demographic projections to make sure the number of residents living in an area will support a new store in the future.
"They study the kind of population the area has," said Barnett Greenberg, a Florida International University professor of marketing who specializes in retail. "Because there are many office buildings and condos occupied by snowbirds in that area, probably it will carry more catering and deli food.
He said Lakeland-based Publix reached $14.5 billion in sales in 2000.