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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Publix on 34th Street inches closer to demolition, redevelopment

<p><span>Lawrence Calderon, a Gainesville city planner, uses a laser pointer to address a projection screen while presenting a PowerPoint to the Gainesville Development Review Board Tuesday.</span></p>

Lawrence Calderon, a Gainesville city planner, uses a laser pointer to address a projection screen while presenting a PowerPoint to the Gainesville Development Review Board Tuesday.

In order to build a new Publix, one shopping center may be demolished.

Plans of redevelopment for Publix and Westgate Shopping Center, located on Southwest 34th Street, are movinging forward after a motion passed by the Gainesville Development Review Board Tuesday. 

The motion, which was passed unanimously, accepted a petition by EDA Inc. for a variance to move the grocery store building a greater distance from the curb along Southwest 2nd Avenue. 

Zoning codes require the building to be placed 27 feet from the curb, and the approved petition asks to place the new building within a range of 52 feet to 110 feet from the curb, according to public records

Lawrence Calderon, a Gainesville city planner, presented the board with a powerpoint explaining the details of the proposed development plan. The Westgate Shopping Center would be demolished in order to build a new Publix, he said.

“We believe that redevelopment of this shopping center is going to have a positive impact on the surrounding area,” Calderon said. 

The grocery store entrance, which currently faces Southwest 34th Street, would face West University Avenue, he said. The back of the building would face Southwest 2nd Avenue, creating more room for service vehicles and trucks to deliver inventory. The proposed plan also intends to attract more pedestrians and bicyclists. 

Board member Barbara Vandermeer said she’s thrilled to see Publix being redeveloped. 

“I think this is a great project. I have stopped at that store for decades, and it’s become a concrete desert,” she said. 

The timeline is uncertain, but the plans are brewing.

 

 

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Lawrence Calderon, a Gainesville city planner, uses a laser pointer to address a projection screen while presenting a PowerPoint to the Gainesville Development Review Board Tuesday.

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