Publix withdraws plans to add store on West Atlantic Avenue

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By: Marisa Herman
Associate Editor

Delray Beach was ready to welcome another Publix Supermarket to the city, but the grocer wasn’t fully on board.

Just a few weeks after the city commission approved several waivers to bring the store to “The Set,” a district of the city’s Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods close to West Atlantic Avenue, the grocer has pulled out of the deal.

Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Jeff Costello said he received a call from the developer Pasadena Capital and that Publix was not moving forward with the deal. The agency has not received any additional information from Publix on the decision.

The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency owns the nearly 3 acre piece of land and the board agreed to sell it to Pasadena Capital for $2 million. Pasadena Capital promised to work to bring a 25,000-square-foot Publix to the location, but the deal was contingent on corporate approval from Publix’s Real Estate Committee.

Neighbors have been asking for a grocery store in their area for years. In 2012, the West Atlantic Redevelopment Coalition (WARC) organized a needs assessment for what was then referred to as the West Atlantic Neighborhood. Community members identified a grocery store as one of the top needs for the area.

Mayor Cary Glickstein told Pasadena Capital last month that the city, “Will move heaven and earth to get shovels in the ground and get this project completed.”

This is the second failed project for the area in recent years. A proposed, larger redevelopment project called Uptown Delray, which included a grocery store in its plans, also failed to come to fruition.

The agreement with Pasadena Capital allows the agency or Pasadena Capital to terminate the deal.