TAMPA (FOX 13)
An empty lot across from the Grand Central buildings in downtown Tampa will soon to see new life.
"This property is going to be the future home of Publix and 323 residential units called the Channel Club," said Ken Stoltenberg, director of Mercury Advisors.
The future 38,000 square-foot Publix is being called the last missing piece in downtown Tampa.
Future puzzle pieces are being laid by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his $2 billion redevelopment plan, along with the Port Authority, which is renovating the waterfront.
"Over the next five years, this will be a radically different city. It'll be the city we all hoped it would become," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
David Kunkel has lived in Channelside for four years and he said he's attracted to the all-inclusive lifestyle.
"This is a beautiful place to live. We have store fronts here, but what we are lacking is a grocery store," Kunkel said.
The Publix store will likely bring 75 to 100 full-time jobs. Economically speaking, the developer said the project will inject about $30 million into the local economy.
"This is going to be a critical piece in filling in the last parts of the puzzle to make downtown a truly walkable, urban neighborhood," said Stoltenberg.
Construction is set to begin in early 2016 and the store should open in 2017.
Publix released a statement about the new store to FOX 13:
"We're excited about the opportunity to serve our customers in the Channel District community. We are diligently working with our developer, Mercury Advisors, the City of Tampa and Mayor Buckhorn to make this project a reality. There is still work to be done, including final contracts and the permitting process, but we are confident that all parties want to see the successful completion of this project. We are thankful to the mayor for his continued commitment and focus on the culture and diversity of Tampa and the Channel District area. As additional details become available, we will provide updates."