Tuesday, September 12, 2023

[ALERT] Publix to Backfill Former Kroger in Brookhaven

One of the worst kept secrets in Atlanta real estate is out.  Publix will replace yet another former Kroger in metro Atlanta.  Following several years of talk, City of Brookhaven Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Linley Jones took to Nextdoor to announce that Publix will replace the former Kroger at Cambridge Square (2036 Johnson Ferry Road) in Brookhaven.  The new Publix will replace the existing store in nearby Oglethorpe Crossing (3435 Ashford Dunwoody Road).  

Kroger closed its store at Cambridge Square in August 2020 citing "declining sales and negative profit over an extended period" as reasons for the closure.  Kroger operated the Cambridge Square store for 19 years before which it was a Harris Teeter, and before that, a Winn Dixie.  A Spirit Halloween store occupies the space currently.  

In a separate release from Regency Centers, the firm announced the impending opening but did not indicate exactly when things will take shape, only that the new Publix is slated to open in 2025.  Jones' post indicated that the new "top notch" Publix will be 20 per cent larger than the current Publix, with an "elevated store style and an even broader selection of items."  The new store will also feature a full-service drive-thru pharmacy.  

"In addition to a new Publix at Cambridge Square, Regency Centers is investing in significant upgrades including enhancing the landscape, refreshing the center’s fa├žade, signage and lighting, as well as parking lot refurbishments. Recognizing the City of Brookhaven’s efforts to offer balanced pedestrian-and bike-friendly accessibility within the community, along with the opening of the new Publix location, the redevelopment will result in expanded pedestrian-friendly access that encourage walkability and connects pedestrians to the existing path network, as well as dedicated space for more convenient bicycle parking.

Starbucks and the UPS Store closed in the center in recent years creating potential opportunity for new tenants.  

The current Publix is 37,888 square feet whereas the site plan for Cambridge Square indicates the vacant anchor space is 42,052 square feet.  Although not explicitly stated, it seems likely that Publix will likely do as they are doing with the former Disco Kroger in Buckhead and demolish the building and start from scratch from the ground up.  A typical Publix of today is 48,387 square feet.  

New "Coming Soon" signage at Publix at Buckhead Landing 

Last year, when Publix made a similar move in Tucker, it actually downsized its store.  In February 2022 Publix closed their 56,146 square foot store in The Centre on Hugh Howell and reopened a new store in Hugh Howell Marketplace that measures 48,387 square feet.  

According to the Regency Centers website, the firm owns and operates 22 centers across metro Atlanta.  Fifteen of those centers are grocery-anchored, of which nine (including Buckhead Landing and Cambridge Square) are anchored by Publix.  Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Trader Joe's, Lidl, and Aldi each operate single units within the firm's Atlanta portfolio.  

There is no word yet on what may happen to the current Publix once their new store opens but local chatter indicates the center's owner, Coro Realty Advisors, may look at redeveloping the center which could include multi-family, among other options.  Given the size, it's unlikely that a store like Trader Joe's would make a play for it and subdividing the space may not be a viable option.  With the new store still more than a year away, we still have plenty of time ruminate on the options.  

Are you excited for the new Publix at Cambridge Square?  What would you like to see open in place of the current Publix in Oglethorpe Crossing?  What other shops would you like to see open in Cambridge Square?

Please share your thoughts below. 

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heard that Trader Joe's is going where the current Publix is

Anonymous said...

If they try to close the Los Bravos, I will chain myself to the building.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the location of the current Publix better than Cambridge Square just because it's easier to get in and out there.
Kind of disappointed it's moving. As you mention it's not a surprise at all.

Anonymous said...

This is the most anticlimactic announcement that could have been made. Although I knew it would never happen, it would have been nice to see them do something more interesting with the space. I hope they at least try to attract some local tenants with personality (a chef-driven restaurant, brewery, coffee shop….). But I’m sure we’ll just end up with another bank and a Mattress Firm.

Anonymous said...

Love to see an Aldi or Lidl. Or even a small farmers market.

Inside Peachtree Corners said...

Finally adding a pharmacy to that Publix. Never could happen where they were. Now for them to figure out how to do it at the Publix by my house.

Anonymous said...

There's no way a Trader Joe's go into the existing Publix; the parking lot is too good.

Not sure how the little fast food Chinese place stays in there with all this. Agree with other poster, leave Los Bravos alone or we're gonna have a problem....

Anonymous said...

Wish it could be an A&P! Miss that proud new feeling…

Anonymous said...

So bored of Kroger or Publix. Why can't we get something clean, nice, fresh, low priced, and open late. Like WEGMANS!!!

Anonymous said...

I work in CRE. That's correct. Opening 2025

Anonymous said...

LAME

Anonymous said...

re: Wegmans. I don't know if you've been in one lately, but low price is not a word I'd use to describe them anymore. Went to college in upstate NY and yeah, that's my memory too. This summer though, I had occasion to spend two months in an area that has Wegmans. Low price no more. Their store brand stuff is decent but they're no bargain on national brands, and their prepared foods are crazy expensive ($22 for a take and bake pizza, seriously... A free form pie (a galette, maybe?) that I bought was $16 and not filled with much. It's not the Wegmans I remember....

And, whoever does their store design is bonkers, aisles hard to get down, people running into each other. Don't need the current version of Wegmans here....

Anonymous said...

It closed already.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Los Bravos and Jersey Mike’s at Cambridge Square will not be affected by the new Publix. Cambridge Square is a great location and maybe something soon will fill the empty Starbuck’s location next to Los Bravos.

Anonymous said...

According to the snarky owner of Jersey Mike’s, they are moving to the Starbucks space and the liquor store will be in its own building perhaps a small strip with a couple of stores.
Publix, will take over that whole wing in their scrape and rebuild of the Kroger

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I don’t know why people are such fans of los bravos, I think it’s because they serve alcohol. The food itself is just average for that kind of establishment. For some real authentic Tacos go to RREAL tacos in Chamblee. They also have a nice vibe. Add a very interesting open kitchen at a bar that’s happening.

Anonymous said...

Or go to Mexico. Get real food in the real place it comes from. Otherwise eat what you have here.

Anonymous said...

What will happen to the Ashford Dunwoody Publix when it closes? When that store first opened it was 24 hours but there were prosters because it was not covered by an employee union. I was living in the area when it opened

Anonymous said...

Grumpy stumpy

Anonymous said...

I hope they redo that whole center. They could probably make the anchor tenant a little smaller than the current space and create additional stores for lease. They could take the additional space, move the cleaners around the corner and expand and modernize the CVS, which is like walking through a hoarders house. I would think that CVS would want to renovate an expander, scrape and rebuild just to stay competitive, obviously with Walgreens facing it, but now Publix will have a modernized drive-through pharmacy.

Anonymous said...

Rumpy pumpy

Anonymous said...

Aren't a lot of CVS stores closing?

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