By Jesse Wood
On July 5, the NCDOT issued a driveway access permit for the Publix Super Markets development slated for the old Kmart property along U.S. 321 in Boone. Work is set to begin next week.
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 that area. The proposed intersection entrances are planned to be 36-foot wide.
NCDOT spokesman David Uchiyama said that work will begin on July 18 on the U.S. Postal Service/Postal Street side of the roadway.
“The contractor expects it all to be done by the end of September barring bad weather or other hiccups,” Uchiyama said.
According to NCDOT District Engineer Doug Eller in a memo to the applicant, a Publix development official, Daniel Renfro of Matthews Development, LLC, a one-year warranty from the completion date is required on all work performed in the NCDOT’s right of way. In the meantime, the NCDOT will hold a $150,000 performance and indemnity bond to be released after a final satisfactory inspection at the end of the warranty period.
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.