Could a Publix finally be coming to San Marco soon?

17 years of delays might be coming to an end for Regency Centers' project

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A sign still announces a Publix is coming, but the people of San Marco are still waiting.

The project has been 17 years in the making in East San Marco but there’s been delay after delay after delay.

It's been two years since a deal fell through to bring the grocery store, a retail center and apartments to East San Marco. But there’s new hope that building will soon begin on the eastern edge of the historic San Marco square.

So that begs the question, what's going on?  

Regency Centers owns the property at Atlantic Boulevard and Hendricks Avenue. At its annual shareholders' meeting, it's CEO, Hap Stein, said with any luck plans will move forward with the project within a year. The apartments have been nixed, but retail shops, restaurants and the Publix are still a go.

"Well, we certainly hope so," said Dwaine Stevens, a spokesman for Publix. "We executed a lease several years ago and we’re committed to San Marco. We want to bring our goods and services to neighborhoods all over the community. So we remain committed to bringing that Publix to San Marco, hopefully, one day soon."

Neither Publix nor Regency Centers can commit to a time frame, but Stevens said the grocery giant is eager to begin serving the San Marco neighborhood.

Indications are that could happen sometime in the next year, according to Regency Centers. 

This project has been delayed repeatedly, according to Stevens.  

"It’s a mixed-use project and, again, we’re committed," Stevens said. "We’ve been involved with this site for several years now. We’re ready to move forward when all the components come together."

Plans on the books call for the Publix to be about 30,000 square feet. Residents said they are just as eager as the grocery giant to get things going. 

For 17 years, it’s been wait and see. While Regency Centers and Publix are optimistic they can get this project off the ground this go-around, for now, it’s more of the same.

The neighborhood will just have to wait and see.

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