Publix appears to be preparing to build a shopping center in Chuluota following the supermarket chain's $3.25 million purchase earlier this week of a 10-acre parcel near several subdivisions in that community.
Publix chose a vacant parcel on W. C.R. 419, east of Lake Eva and west of Raymond Ash Court, a neighborhood rich with subdivisions. Property records show the seller was Palm Beach-based commercial realtor Sterling Organization.
The average Publix takes up about 50,000 square feet. The Chuluota parcel is 435,600 square feet, or roughly 10 acres. That means plenty of space to build, and would keep with the company's practice of often developing shopping centers around its stores.
There were no tabs on Publix's website where general contractors can submit proposals for projects. Large retailers often dispense with the open bidding process in favor of contracting with companies they have already worked with and are comfortable with.
Publix's strategy involves leasing and managing centers the company controls, buying new properties to develop, acquiring existing Publix-anchored shopping centers and selling off excess space.
Publix itself does not publicize the approach. Lisa Taylor, the asset manager for Publix whose territory includes Seminole County, said she was "not authorized to give out any of that information." Other company representatives declined to comment.
The company was active in late 2015 in buying land for new stores, or reacquiring land where it was leasing. Publix paid $6.19 million on Dec. 22 for a downtown Orlando store parcel on E. Colonial Drive, and bought a 30-acre shopping center in Clermont on Sept. 30 for $22.5 million.
Publix was founded in 1930 in Winter Haven by George Jenkins. The company has 767 stores in Florida and a distribution center in Orlando.