Publix Super Market Company confirmed today that they are returning to the Statesboro.
“We are excited to announce a lease has been fully executed and Publix is coming back to Statesboro”, said Dwain Stephens, Media and Community Relations Manager, Publix Super Markets. “Due to other road construction, the store is projected to open in 2022, perhaps sooner.”
This confirmation comes seven months after local businessman Darin Van Tassel held a groundbreaking for a new stadium complex that would include retail space and a Publix grocery store on property located at the corner of Old Register Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway. At the time of the groundbreaking and announcement that Publix would be returning, there was no lease in place by Publix. There was a signed letter of intent, but no lease. Bulloch County Board of Education had placed a stipulation in their agreement to participate in the TAD that a grocery store had to be announced.
Today Watkins Real Estate Group celebrated the fully executed lease with Publix by erecting a sign on the proposed site. The “coming soon” sign announces Publix as the anchor store for the proposed Eagles Landing Shopping Center. It is also marketing the proposed shopping center and out parcels to other businesses. Watkins has been the lead developer on dozens of Publix anchored shopping centers located throughout the southeast.
According to the City of Statesboro, the only building permits that have been issued at this time are for the tax payer funded road and utility construction. There have been no permits issues for Publix, Eagle Landing Shopping Center, the TormentaFC soccer stadium or list of proposed development to the site.
In fact, the only construction on the site is the tax funded improvements to the infrastructure, access roads and the widening of Old Register Road. They are also preparing for the installation of a red light at the intersection of Old Register Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.
The City of Statesboro created a Tax Allocation District (TAD) in 2018 that covers the proposed 225 acres of development and committed up to $4.75 million to fund public infrastructure work including the roads. Bonds were sold to raise the public funds for the project. The plan is for these bonds to be paid off by the revenue from the increase in taxes from growth. Basically the taxing entities agreed to freeze the amount they received from property located in the TAD on December 31, 2018. Any growth in tax revenue generated by the development and future growth in this district will be used to pay off the bonds. In the initial proposal the investment group supporting the TAD estimated private investment in this development to exceed $160 million.
The new road being constructed on the site is planned to connect with the proposed future expansion of Akins Boulevard from the GSU Campus across the bypass onto the South Campus. When completed Akins Boulevard would connect the two campuses. Construction has not began on this extension at this time.
There will also be a right turn entrance from Veterans Memorial Parkway to a second access road that will be constructed on the property.