By Jesse Wood
Work on the new intersection for the Publix being built continues as road crews moved across the street to the Cracker Barrel side of U.S. 321 in Boone. Work is on schedule, according to the NCDOT.
“They lost a few days for rain,” NCDOT Transportation Technician Brandon Greer said on Friday. “The contractor at the moment is still hoping to complete [the project] at the end of September, barring any weather conditions.”
Expect delays heading north on U.S. 321 for a few more weeks as the two northbound lanes merge into one near the Cracker Barrel. The northbound sidewalk is also inaccessible in front of the construction area.
In July, the NCDOT issued a driveway access permit and construction began in the middle of the month. The permit covers an intersection that will provide signalized access to Publix, the Cracker Barrel, the Boone Post Office and other existing businesses accessed from those areas.
The proposed intersection entrances are planned to be 36-foot wide.
Publix published the 6.5-acre property in November 2014 for $10.5 million. That was a cool $3.5 profit for the development group that bought the old Kmart property for nearly $7 million in the summer of 2014, when Kmart closed down for good.
The demolition of the old retail store began in April. Demolition is complete, and the foundation of the site is currently being constructed.
The new Publix Super Markets store in Boone, which is proposed to open sometime in 2017, will be about 49,000 square feet in size and feature a drive thru Publix pharmacy. The parking lot will accommodate 250 vehicles, according to plans submitted to the Boone Planning and Inspections department.
The redevelopment is estimated to cost $9 million.
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