The new Publix grocery store in Pensacola’s East Hill neighborhood will open at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, company officials confirmed Wednesday.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 7:45 a.m., just before the doors open.
The new store, located at 1100 East Cervantes Street, occupies a full city block in the heart of East Hill. It’s the first grocery store to open in decades in the near-downtown neighborhood, once home to outposts from major grocery chains like Winn-Dixie, Delchamps, and A&P. As modern supermarkets continued to grow in square footage, East Hill’s grocery stores closed and moved to suburban sites less constrained by the city street grid.At about 29,000 square feet, the East Hill Publix is a bit smaller than the company’s typical store, but officials say the store will still have all the essentials, including a deli, bakery, and pharmacy. The $3 million project has created around 100 new jobs.
The site was previously home to the historic A.V. Clubbs School, which was demolished in early 2016 after developers said the 1930s-era building was too small to repurpose into a grocery store. During demolition, most of the structure’s bricks were saved in order to be reused in the landscaping surrounding the new store. Publix also worked to save several large old growth oak trees on the property.
“Publix invested a lot into making sure the needs of the community were met,” said Charles Hasiak, project manager for McIntyre Elwell & Strammer, the project’s general contractor. “We’ll have bike racks, decorative lighting, and lots of features that make the project better for the neighborhood.”