Work begins on Publix site
Jul 21, 2010 | 4949 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker Excavating of Pell City is doing the site work at the new South Park Shopping Center, where a new Publix Super Market is expected to open late next year.
Walker Excavating of Pell City is doing the site work at the new South Park Shopping Center, where a new Publix Super Market is expected to open late next year.
PELL CITY — You can hear it in his voice – excitement – as dirt begins to move at the future home of a new Publix Super Market.

“It’s not just me,” said Bill Ellison, owner and developer of the South Park Shopping Center commercial development between U.S. 231 South and Hardwick Road. “Everybody I bump into is excited.”

Those who frequently travel on U.S. 231 can see the open field adjacent to the Maple Village Apartments slowly transform into a flat red-clay opening where buildings will soon emerge.

“It’s amazing to see all the work that has been done in such a short amount of time,” Ellison said Wednesday. “We’re making great progress.”

The Publix Super Market store will anchor the new commercial development.

Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama Publix Super Markets, said company officials are equally excited about opening a new Publix Super Market in Pell City.

“We anticipate we will open by late next year,” Reid said Wednesday. “Once we break ground, it takes about 10 months to build a store.”

Ellison said the weather is cooperating and is perfect for excavating work.

“Everything is going very smoothly,” he said.

He said excavating work started at the back of the new commercial development, near Hardwick Road, but the work is moving forward to the front of the property along U.S. 231.

Ellison said all excavation work at the site, which will not only include the site for the new Publix Super Market, but the entire 13-acre development, is moving along quickly.

“We’re optimistic that all site work will be completed within 90-120 days,” he said.

The announcement of the new Publix Super Market is a springboard for possible openings of new commercial retail stores for the development.

“Leasing is going exceptionally well for the shop space,” Ellison said. “There have been lots of interests.”

He said Retail Specialist, Inc. is handling the marketing of the development, the leasing of retail shop spaces and the sales of out-parcels.

“They are doing an exceptional job,” Ellison said. “We’re ahead of schedule.”

Ellison said he could not go into details as to possible retail stores interested in opening retail shops at the new South Park Shopping Center.

“The long and short of it, I could not be more pleased with the interest,” he said.

Ellison did announce that a Bojangles’ Famous Chicken N’ Biscuits restaurant will open at the South Park Shopping Center commercial development.

He credited the First National Bank of Talladega and Metro Bank of Pell City Wednesday for their financial support of the South Park Shopping Center.

He also publicly thanked the St. Clair County Economic Development Council, the Pell City mayor and council, the St. Clair County chairman and commissioners for their support.

“I could not have done this without a lot of help from others,” Ellison said.

Reid said the new 45,000 square-foot Publix Super Market will have a pharmacy, and the store’s regular departments, like the fresh seafood counter, bakery, deli and floral departments.

She did not specify exactly what attracted Publix Super Market to Pell City. The company has 1,021 stores scattered throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

“When we select a store site, there are a lot of variables that go into the selection process,” Reid said. “We look at the growth potential and/or the established population density of an area.”

Ellison said the city must still approve the architecture plans for the new Publix Super Market store.

“Then the project will have to go out for bid,” he said.

With everything moving so smoothly, Ellison predicts the new Publix Super Market could open sooner than later.

“We’re optimistic we can finish it early,” Ellison said. “We’re making such excellent progress and so far, the weather is cooperating.”

Contact David Atchison at