Publix proposes 25,000 sq. ft. store at site of old Hwy. 59 Winn Dixie
By John Mullen
Publix supermarkets was at one time pondering a move into the closed Winn Dixie location in the Paradise Isle Shopping Center near the southeast end of the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge on Alabama 59.
According to planning documents, the plan now is to remove the existing building and rebuild a new nearly 25,000-square-foot store on the same spot. Winn Dixie closed the store in March of 2018, according to published reports. The plan for the new store went before the planning commission on Jan. 25.
“The proposed Publix building will occupy the footprint of the former Winn Dixie store and will improve the character of the existing development,” a staff report states. “The front façade of the building features the main entrance and has stone and stucco finishes. The east, west and rear sides of the building are split-faced concrete masonry units. All exterior service areas and equipment will be screened with similar building materials and finishes as the Publix building.”
Staff is set to recommend the approval of the site plan with two conditions. Publix must pay a sidewalk fee of $26,640 “in lieu of construction of the required sidewalks along East 16th Avenue and East First Street prior to the issuance of a building permit.” The developers also must produce “engineering showing that the available water supply and infrastructure including location meets the designed required fire flow of the building.”
This will be the fourth Publix, including the first location in Gulf Shores is at Pelican Point shopping center about a mile north of the Intracoastal Waterway on State Route 59, and stores in Orange Beach and Foley.
Florida based Publix is among the fastest-growing conventional supermarket operators in the U.S. It recently opened markets in Kentucky following expansion into the Carolinas and Virginia in recent years. It has also become a significant player in Alabama during the past decade.
Founded in 1930, Publix is one of the 10 largest volume supermarket chains in the country. It had $36.1 billion in retail sales in 2018 and employs more than 200,000 people in 1,218 locations, including 71 stores in Alabama. One of its nine national distribution centers is in McCalla.
A Publix is highly desirable in and of itself and also because of the additional retail development it usually brings with it. Construction of a new store usually takes 18 months.
Publix acquired a lease from Winn-Dixie for the Paradise Isle Shopping Center in 2018.
Other plans before the planning commission on Jan. 25 included townhouse projects on Coastal Gateway Boulevard and Oak Road West, a small single-family subdivision on Fort Morgan Road and two projects on or near West Beach Boulevard.
Cottages at Craft Farms
Developers are proposing a 52-unit townhome development on the south side of Coastal Gateway Boulevard about a half mile west of the Beach Express. Directly to the east of this property is city owned property for “future city of Gulf Shores higher education campus,” according to the staff report on the project.
South of the proposed site is the Craft Farms North Subdivision and developers have been meeting with the homeowners’ association about the project the report states. The new townhomes will be built fronting Coastal Gateway. Staff plans to recommend approval of the plan with conditions to upgrade street lighting to match current styles used by BEMC. Gulf Shores Utilities also set the condition “the applicant shall verify the line pressure/head connections for the proposed grinder pumps.”
North Lagoon Estates
This development would go in the 17000 block of Fort Morgan Road on Little Lagoon on 5.65 acres with a plan for 15 single-family lots in an area zoned neighborhood business. Callaway Cottages previously occupied the site but was destroyed in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan.
The lots will be accessed by a 40-foot-wide private easement gravel drive with two entrances from Fort Morgan Road.
“The subdivision was classified as a major subdivision because the subdivision required the installation of improvements,” the staff report states. “The preservation of the existing trees on the property is an important aspect of the plan.”
Staff plans to recommend approval of this plan with the condition “the wetlands shall be placed within a recorded conservation easement prior to recordation of the final subdivision plat.”
This is an empty 1.06-acre lot at 1050 West Beach Boulevard across the street from the West 10th Street city beach access where developers are looking to build a 15-lot cottage subdivision. The lot is “the former home to Pelican Place Condominium, a 40-unit … complex that was destroyed in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan” the staff report states. The former owners weren’t financially able to rebuild, according to planning commission documents.
Staff plans to recommend approval of this plan with the conditions no trash cans be placed on West Boulevard for servicing and the applicant must pay a $7,832 sidewalk fee before the building permit is issued.
This .52-acre plan calls for a five-lot cottage subdivision at 1476 Sandpiper Lane with the north side of the lot facing Little Lagoon. The lot “contains existing natural features that can enhance the proposed development,” the staff report states. “Staff worked with the applicant early in the review process in order to maintain the required 30-foot wetland buffer while preserving a number of the sand live oaks along the front property line.”
Staff plans to recommend approval of this project with conditions including the payment of a $2,200 sidewalk fee before a building permit is issued.
This development at the northwest corner of Oak Road West and State Route 59 is looking to add 40 attached townhomes and 10 detached units in phase two of the project. In 2007, “the master play for the 121-acre development identified a mixture of single-family and multifamily residential uses and building types with a limit of 1,208 future units” according to the staff report.
Staff plans to recommend approval of this project with conditions one being trash collection is done in the alleyways behind the new units.