Publix pays $57M for shopping center it anchors in West Palm Beach

Lakeland-based grocer is betting on South Florida retail plazas anchored by its stores

Publix, West Palm Beach
Publix's Todd Jones with 6714-6868 Forest Hill Boulevard (Loopnet, iStock)

Publix boosted its South Florida retail real estate holdings with a $56.5 million acquisition of a West Palm Beach shopping center anchored by one of its stores.

The Lakeland-based grocery chain, led by CEO Todd Jones, bought River Bridge Centre, a 229,781-square-foot retail plaza and nine outparcels at 6714-6868 Forest Hill Boulevard, according to a press release.

A JLL team led by Danny Finkle and Eric Williams represented the seller of River Bridge Centre.

New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management sold the 28.4-acre property for $22 million above its previous purchase price three years ago. In 2019, an Apollo affiliate paid $34.5 million for the shopping center, which was completed in 1987, records show.

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Renovated in 2005, River Bridge Centre is anchored by a Publix grocery store and is 86.3 percent occupied, the release states. Other tenants include Ross Dress for Less, Crunch Fitness, Five Below, Ace Hardware and Pizza Hut.

For more than a year, Publix has been on the hunt for South Florida retail properties anchored by the grocer’s stores. Last month, Publix paid $12.8 million for a waterfront Hollywood development site where it plans to build a new store. In 2020, the Hollywood City Commission approved the construction of a roughly 30,000-square-foot Publix and a boat dock on the 1.1-acre site.

In July, Publix acquired a 20-acre site in Westlake, a master-planned community in Palm Beach County, for $9.1 million. The grocery chain received city approval to develop a 140,000-square-foot outdoor shopping plaza anchored by a 50,000-square-foot Publix grocery and liquor store. The project is being developed in two phases.

Also last year, Publix paid $10 million for 1.4 acres in Fort Lauderdale Beach where the company is currently building a 29,000-square-foot store with rooftop parking.