New Publix prototype opens at Virginia Center

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New Publix prototype opens at Virginia Center

By Al Urbanski - 06/05/2019
Publix chose Westpark Shopping Center in Glen Allen, Va., as the site for a new store prototype, but the existing Martin Foods structure for which it had obtained the ground lease could not accommodate its plans. The Florida-based supermarket chain, then, demolished the Martin store and fuel center and built its 52, 401-sq.-ft. store from the ground up.

Other tenants at Westpark, a 177,000-sq.-ft. center owned by InvenTrust, remained fully operational during the 13-month construction of the new Publix, which opened last week in the town located 10 miles north of Richmond.

“A project like this is tricky, because of the building’s location in the middle of the shopping center,” said Ken Gold, CEO of Skilken Gold, which developed the site for Publix. “Adjacent tenants were virtually sharing walls with a building that needed to be torn down before it could be rebuilt.”

Gold’s company worked together with Publix and InvenTrust began to create a strategic site access and construction-sequencing plan that would minimize the impact of construction.

“We chose Skilken Gold because of their experience, not only developing grocery stores, but developing, owning and operating grocery-anchored shopping centers,” said Woody Rayburn, VP of real estate assets for Publix.

The shopping center’s owner was equally pleased with the result.

“We recognized that the construction and opening of a new prototype Publix in the Glen Allen market was a superb opportunity to refresh the center, which has been a favored retail destination in the community for 30 years,” said Ivy Z. Greaner, executive VP and COO of InvenTrust.

In anticipation of Publix’s arrival, InvenTrust completed a major remodel of Westpark that included a façade rebuild, landscaping enhancements, parking lot repaving and LED lighting. Stone seat walls, niche areas for outdoor seating, and a synthetic turf play area were added to upgrade the customer experience.

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