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Publix to close in Seminole Mall, open in former Albertsons across street

SEMINOLE — The Publix in Seminole Mall will close, probably later this year, and reopen across the street in a former Albertsons.

Publix submitted plans Friday to the county for a building permit to refurbish the former Albertsons on 113th Street N.

"That store is going through what we call a full remodel," said Shannon Patten, a Publix spokeswoman. "Yes, we are closing the (Publix) across the street."

The new Publix is tentatively scheduled to open in December. But shoppers will not be deprived of their Publix. When moving day comes, the Seminole Mall Publix will close at the normal time. The next morning, the new Publix will open at its regular time.

The plan submitted to the county shows both a grocery and liquor store. The grocery will be 50,951 square feet, about 12,000 square feet larger than the mall store. The liquor store, on the south side of the building, will be 2,832 square feet. It will have 216 parking spaces, two more than the Albertsons.

Although Pinellas County officials received the plans Friday, they already have some questions about the proposal. One concerns the liquor store. The property abuts a residential area on the west and south and is within 750 feet of Bay Pines Evangelical Lutheran Church. That would normally require asking for a variance.

But Albertsons had a liquor store there and as long as it can be transferred to the Publix, then there is likely no problem, said Al Navaroli, the county's building and development review services manager.

Navaroli said the county also needs to take a look at the drainage on the property. The building was constructed in the late 1970s. Those plans show a drainage system consisting of gravel pits with a catch basin. County officials want to make sure those are still adequate, Navaroli said.

The third issue is landscaping. Most, if not all, has disappeared and will have to be replaced, he said.

The former Albertsons is one of 49 in Central and North Florida that Publix bought for $500 million last September. Seventeen of the stores are in the Tampa Bay area.

Since the sale was announced, Seminole residents have been focused on the Publix in Seminole Mall wondering what would happen. From the beginning, Publix said it would eventually close the store, but in February, a spokeswoman said the chain had no time frame for the changeover.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at (727) 893-8450 or alindberg@sptimes.com.

Publix to close in Seminole Mall, open in former Albertsons across street 03/31/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 2:01pm]

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