By Jesse Wood
After months of speculation and essentially “no comment” from Publix Super Markets and the developers of the old Kmart property on Blowing Rock Road, Publix Super Markets announced it is opening a store in Boone.
Recently, Publix North Carolina purchased the 6.5-acre property for $10.5 million from a group of commercial developers that bought the property in the 2014 summer when Kmart shuttered its doors, according to a Nov. 20 deed filed in Watauga County.
Equity Resource Partners III LLC of Georgia (40.5 percent), Granite Falls Land & Investment of North Carolina (47 percent), Watson Commercial Development Inc. of North Carolina (5 percent) and Robert Carroll Carver of North Carolina (7.5 percent) purchased the property from Kmart for $6,975,000. In parenthesis is each entity’s share of investment, according to public records filed at Watauga County Register of Deeds office.
The three former companies list either Ron Turner Jr. of Davidson-based Piedmont Land Development or Jeff Watson of Piedmont Land Development as registered agents on corporation forms filed with the N.C. Secretary of State.
Kimberly Reynolds, a spokesperson for Publix, said that the grocery chain will tear the building down and build from the ground up on the site of the old Kmart. The building will be approximately 49,000 square feet and will include a drive-thru pharmacy.
“On average, our stores employ between 125-150 associates with the majority being local hires from within the community,” Reynolds said in an email.
She added that Publix plans on opening in Boone in 2017.
“Many factors affect timelines including permitting and weather. Our goal is always to open a store as soon as possible,” Reynolds added.
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