Chattanooga real estate agent Bassam Issa, the owner of the property on which the store is being built, said the tentative “target” for Publix’s opening day is Nov. 7.
While a representative of the retailer said Publix could not confirm that exact date, she said the company is also planning to open the store before the holidays have customers heading to grocers to pick up food for their families to gobble around the table.
“We hope to get it open by the end of November,” said Publix corporate spokesperson Brenda Reid.
But Publix is not able to pin down an exact opening date until the developer “hands over” the store building to be stocked and prepared for the opening, she said. The length of time the company takes to prepare a new store location after the developer has the building finished is generally four weeks, she said.
The new Publix location will be similar in size to the retailer’s closest existing location in Ooltewah, with both measuring about 54,000 square feet. However, Reid said “this one will be considerably different,” as it is set to feature a new store layout and an “updated” design painted in a new color palette.
However, Reid added the new store would carry a very similar selection of food since both stores are located in the same area. As with the Ooltewah location, the Cleveland store will also feature a pharmacy.
Some in the community may or may not think a new grocery store is a cause for celebration in and of itself, but many might get to celebrate new employment. Reid said the opening of a new Publix store generally results in the creation of between 120 and 150 new jobs, depending on the individual store’s needs.
She predicted the Cleveland store would need to be highly staffed at first as it would be opening close to the holiday season. Hiring will take place a few weeks before the opening, she said.
Reid said the chain’s corporate office in Lakeland, Fla., has received multiple customer service calls from Cleveland-area residents asking when the store would open, which she said the company has taken as a sign the town is looking forward to having a Publix.
“They’re very excited about it,” Reid said. “We are also very excited and looking forward to opening in Cleveland.”
Adjacent to the Publix store will be a 10,000-square-foot shopping center, adding to a number of businesses occupying land on Paul Huff Parkway between Peerless and Mouse Creek roads.
Issa said tenants moving into the center include a Great Clips hair salon, a nail salon called Posh Nails and at least three other businesses that are still in the middle of lease negotiations. The hope is to also have the shopping center open by the end of the year, he said.
The Publix store and shopping center are set to share a parking lot near the existing shops and restaurants located within the Mouse Creek Crossing shopping center, including the likes of Buffalo Wild Wings, Batteries Plus and Starbucks.
“Everything is part of that development,” Issa said. “It’s a new hot spot in Cleveland.”