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Publix groundbreaking set for May 26

With closing documents signed, Darin Van Tassell announced Monday afternoon that the official groundbreaking for construction of a Publix Supermarket is set for Wednesday, May 26.

“It’s been a long, long wait, but it’s done,” Van Tassell said.

Van Tassell is South Georgia Tormenta FC soccer franchise president and the leading investor for JGR Development LLC, which is spearheading the overall Old Register Road development, of which Publix is a central piece.

Van Tassell said the May 26 groundbreaking was set in conjunction with Watkins Retail Group, which builds shopping centers and leases their anchor supermarket spaces to Publix, on the Eagles Corner shopping center on Old Register Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.

In addition to the 48,000-square-foot Publix store, the planned retail center will include 16,000 to 17,000 square feet of built spaces for other tenants, typically restaurants or retailers, plus three outparcels to develop for other businesses. In January, Bob Peck, vice president of development for Watkins Retail Group said they are working with about four prospective “restaurant concepts,” a hair salon, a nail salon and “a medical usage,” for spots in the center, and has three or four other individuals looking at outparcels, Peck said.

The design of the supermarket itself awaits final work by Publix’s own architects. But Peck said in January the plan includes a mezzanine, with seating for deli diners, opening to a patio overlooking the parking area.

Also in January, Van Tassell said: “It won’t just be a Publix that you’ll see coming out of the ground, but also the stadium and all of those things next to Publix, and then the other pieces that we’re  developing. 2021 is going to see a lot of activity, and that May time frame is when you’re going to see most of it beginning.”

Look for a more complete report Tuesday on and in Thursday’s Statesboro Herald.


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