Publix Super Markets to invest in new stores and real estate in 2015

A Publix store

Publix Super Markets released its annual report on Monday, highlighting its profits in 2014 and plans for new stores this year.

The Lakeland-based grocer will invest $1.3 billion in new store construction, remodeling, technology and real estate, according to published reports.

Out of 1,095 stores in five states, Florida has the most, with 760 as of the end of 2014.

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The grocer’s profits were up by nearly 5 percent from $1.65 billion in 2013 to $1.74 billion in 2015, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported.

In July, Publix unveiled plans to replace an existing South Florida grocery store location with a new state-of-the-art, mixed-use center that includes a condo tower. Following up on plans unveiled in June to build an 18-story condo tower with 282 units behind a proposed grocery store in Coral Gables, Publix submitted an application seeking “site-plan approval” from the City of Sunny Isles Beach to build a new mixed-used project that includes a 26-story condo tower with 357 units on the waterfront site of the chain’s existing 32-year-old store.

Publix will continue buying shopping centers that its stores anchor, according to the report. In February, Publix bought the Briar Bay Convenience Center near the Falls in South Miami-Dade for $16.7 million, according to public records. [Tampa Bay Business Journal] — Katherine Kallergis