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Publix Construction ‘Moving Along Pretty Good,’ To Open Maybe February or March

A view of the progress of the Publix Construction from across the highway last week. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

Construction of the Publix grocery store at the old Kmart site in Boone is “moving along pretty good,” according to Boone Planning Director Bill Bailey, who made the remarks at a High Country Home Builders Association meeting earlier this week.

“They were planning on opening for the holidays. Looks like it will be right after the holidays – late February, early March,” Bailey said. “They are moving along pretty good.”

Publix purchased the old Kmart property last fall from a group of developers that made a cool $3.5 million by sitting on the property for about year. The group –  Equity Resource Partners III LLC of Georgia, Granite Falls Land & Investment of North Carolina, Watson Commercial Development Inc. of North Carolina and Robert Carroll Carver of North Carolina – bought the property from Kmart for nearly $7 million in June 2014 and sold it to Publix for $10.5 last fall.

Publix began the demolition of the old Kmart property this spring, and thereafter began building the 49,000-square-foot building, which will include a drive-thru Publix Pharmacy.

According to a release from Publix when its pending operation in Boone became official, the typical Publix Super Markets store employs about 125 to 150 employees, and the company says that a majority of the hires are generally local.