Publix Keen On An Urban Store Just Outside Downtown Nashville

Publix Keen On An Urban Store Just Outside Downtown Nashville

Publix has been in talks for a possible store in Midtown near Music Row, among other locations that the grocery store chain is actively considering in Nashville.

According to multiple real estate sources, Publix is evaluating whether to open one of its smaller urban stores at the corner of 16th Avenue South and McGavock Street, steps from the Music Row roundabout.

What’s there today are parking lots behind a strip of retail, bars, restaurants and office space running along Demonbreun Street. The property is owned by Elmington Capital Group, which is working on a master plan to redevelop the entire site.

It is but one possible option for Publix — and Publix isn’t the only one scouting sites in Nashville.

A grocery store would be a popular amenity for the increasing number of people choosing to live in Nashville’s urban core. There are about 840 apartments in development within steps of Elmington Capital’s property, either at the Music Row roundabout or on 16th Avenue South. Plus, there are others in the pipeline on Music Row itself, and elsewhere nearby in Midtown.

Elmington Capital’s master plan for its property includes a retail space where the company wants to put a grocery store, according to Dominic Zabriskie, the company’s director of asset management. When asked about Publix, Zabriskie said he could not comment about any particular chain.

“We’re in the very beginning stages, so we don’t have tenants or a design nailed down,” Zabriskie said. “We’d like to bookend the site with a hotel and a grocer, and give it a feel like 2525 (West End Ave.), where you have the office building with multistory retail below.”

Publix is headquartered in Lakeland, Fla. Our sister outlets in Orlando and Tampa have reported that the chain’s urban stores are about 28,000 square feet, and that Publix is prototyping an even smaller layout.

Additionally, Publix has been considered the frontrunner to open a store in Capitol View. The planned mixed-use development covers 22 acres, anchored at Charlotte Avenue and 11th Avenue North.

My sources said a Publix store in Capitol View would not preclude another store in Midtown or elsewhere in urban Nashville — meaning this does not appear to be an either/or scenario for the grocer.

In part, that’s because the stores would be different sizes and thus offer a different selection of products and amenities. Also, it’s not uncommon for grocery chains to open multiple stores within just a couple of miles, attempting to box-out their competition.

Brenda Reid, a spokeswoman for Publix, said she had no new stores confirmed for the Nashville market at this point in time. She declined further comment.

Boyle Investment Co. is the developer of Capitol View, along with Northwestern Mutual. Previously, Boyle executives have said the first building to open will feature ground-floor retail, anchored by a grocery store.

The plans for Capitol View allot about 45,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet for a grocery store, an amount of space on par with the traditional size of a Publix store. The wide-ranging Capitol View development also includes about 1,000 apartments, two hotels, a movie theater and various restaurants.

On the other side of 11th Avenue North, hospital giant HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCA) is having 500,000 square feet of offices created. That space will house a projected 2,000 employees of two subsidiaries, Parallon Business Solutions and Sarah Cannon Research Institute.

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