A much-anticipated Publix grocery store is set to open by late January or early February in Pensacola’s East Hill neighborhood, officials said this week.
Work is still ongoing as company officials ready the $3 million project to open its doors. Signage is being installed this week and exterior details are being finished as construction wraps up and work shifts to the building’s interior. The new store is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to Pensacola.
The new store, which will occupy a full city block bounded by East Cervantes and East Strong Streets and 11th and 12th Avenues, is the first full-service grocery store to open in decades in East Hill. The neighborhood near downtown Pensacola was once home to several supermarkets, but as modern grocery stores continued to grow in size and the metro population sprawled over the city limits, many grocery chains relocated.
Indeed, the East Hill Publix is a different take on the traditional stores many are used to, according to company officials. At about 29,000 square feet, it’s a smaller format than the typical Publix store. The company has invested heavily into the project to ensure the new store blends in with the historic character of East Hill.
“Publix invested a lot into making sure the needs of the community were met,” said Charles Hasiak, project manager for McIntyre Elwell & Strammer, the general contractor for the project.
“We’ll have bike racks, decorative lighting, and lots of features that make the project better for the neighborhood.”
While it will have some obvious differences, such as offering an expanded dining area and deli, it still offers much of the same you can find at traditional Publix stores.
The property was once home to a historic school that was demolished earlier this year. Developers said the school was too small to renovate, requiring the 1930s-era structure to be razed. During demolition, most of the structure’s bricks were saved to repurpose in the landscaping surrounding the new store. Additionally, multiple large old growth oak trees were preserved on the property.
The grand opening date is still not officially set, but Publix is planning to have the East Hill store open by late January.