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Publix shopping center taking shape for possible fall opening
Nail lounge, hair salon and Tropical Smoothie restaurant mapped as Eagles Corner tenants
Construction continues at Publix on Wednesday, March 30.
Construction continues at Publix on Wednesday, March 30. The core of the Eagles Corner Shopping Center, including the masonry block walls of the 48,000-square-foot Publix supermarket, has taken shape between Tormenta Way and Veterans Memorial Parkway at Old Register Road on Statesboro’s perimeter. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The core of the Eagles Corner Shopping Center, including the masonry block walls of the 48,000-square-foot Publix supermarket, has taken shape between Tormenta Way and Veterans Memorial Parkway at Old Register Road on Statesboro’s perimeter.

Construction crews are working, simultaneously, on the shopping center and the Tormenta Stadium across Tormenta Way. These projects have different owners and developers, but both are part of the Old Register Road Tax Allocation District, where growth in property tax revenues is dedicated to repaying the city of Statesboro for money advanced from a loan for the road construction and other infrastructure.

When Eagles Corner developer Watkins Real Estate Group and its largest tenant, Publix Super Markets Inc., broke ground last May, executives cited this coming October as the projected opening date. Signs at the site have stated more broadly, “Opening Fall 2022.”

Reached briefly by phone Friday, Bob Peck, Watkins Retail Group’s vice president of development, said yes when asked if the project is still on schedule for October. He hasn’t replied since the Statesboro Herald called again this week hoping to identify businesses, especially restaurants, coming to the shopping center or its outparcels.

 

Salons and Smoothies

But a diagram of the shopping center on the Watkins Real Estate Group website identifies spaces for three specific businesses besides Publix. These are Great Clips, Grand Nail Lounge and Tropical Smoothie. So, the shopping center appears likely to contain a family hair salon, a nail spa and a restaurant that serves smoothies, sandwiches and wraps. But there is room for more businesses.

Extending south from the main building that will be the Publix store, walls have begun to go up for what the diagram shows as five storefront spaces.

A 1,190-square-foot space, closest to the grocery store, is designated for Great Clips. The next space, double-sized at 3,500 square feet, is listed for the Grand Nail Lounge. Beyond it, three spaces in the same row were listed as “available,” at least when the diagram was last updated, which appears to have been in late January.

Perpendicular to that row of shops and at the end of the main parking lot, a 3,000-square-foot building, separate but still part of the planned shopping center, was listed as “under LOI” indicating a letter of intent, but not yet a contract, was in hand for some unidentified business to occupy it. Closer to Old Register Road, another building is divided into three storefronts. One measuring 1,500 square feet was reserved for Tropical Smoothie. A 1,100-square-foot space was “under LOI,” and a 2,800-square-foot space was “available.”

The overall, approximately 12.7-acre property is roughly triangular, and three outparcels, each measuring between one and one and half acre, occupy the corners. Two are marked “under contract,” meaning to a specific buyer or lessee, and the third is marked “under LOI.”

In December, Peck said the development was on track to include four or five restaurants.

Applications that Watkins Group or its contractor filed with the city of Statesboro for permits issued in December projected the cost of building the Publix store at $5.7 million and the cost for “shell” construction of the other buildings in the shopping center – but not the outparcels – at amounts totaling $2.45 million.

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