Publix will anchor high-vacancy shopping center in Sarasota

City records show the supermarket operator will build a 48,000-square-foot store at the Town and Country Plaza

Town and Country Plaza in Sarasota (Source: Business Observer)
Town and Country Plaza in Sarasota (Source: Business Observer)

City records show Publix Super Markets plans to open a new store at a depopulated strip shopping center in Sarasota that lost two anchor tenants.

Publix plans to build a 48,000-square-foot supermarket at the Town and Country Plaza, where Bealls is the lone anchor tenant following the departures of a supermarket called SweetBay in 2013 and a Kmart department store this year.

The Publix plan in Sarasota suggests that, as retail stores struggle to compete against online retailers, Publix may rely less on the shoppers other retailers attract when it decides which shopping centers to anchor.

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The Lakeland-based supermarket chain plans to demolish the old Sweetbay supermarket to clear the land for both a 48,000-square-foot supermarket and a 5,000-square-foot out-parcel. Applications for city demolition permits for the Sweetbay redevelopment are pending approval.

Publix has a smaller store at Sarasota Commons, a retail property about one block north of the new-store site. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune] — Mike Seemuth