Demolition Coming Soon To Future Publix Site

Article courtesy of The Greeneville Sun.
BY KRISTEN EARLY
Published January 14, 2016

 

The building that once housed the former Food Lion may not be standing for much longer based on a notice sent last month to tenants of the adjoining offices.

However, at least some of those offices may be left standing until new, additional retail space is added to the complex, tenants say.

James McKay, a leasing agent with JSI Realty Group LLC, confirmed on Wednesday that two of the currently remaining tenants -- Sun Loans and Franklin Financial -- will most likely stay within a retail space on site throughout the course of the planned project.

In November, the Greene County Partnership and JSI Development announced plans for the location of a new Publix grocery store in the Fairgrounds Plaza Shopping Center.

The $9 million investment will add more than 100 jobs, according to the announcement. The store would feature a 45,000 square-foot, full service grocery scheduled to open before Thanksgiving 2016.

The current building that once housed Food Lion would be demolished, officials said.

Adjoining the former grocery building is a Family Dollar, which will remain intact, according to the announcement, and four other businesses, the future of which was not made clear at the time of the announcement.

One of those businesses, AT&T, has already vacated. The Internet, TV and telephone company relocated on Jan. 8 to 104 Village Drive "after a 30-day notice to vacate the property was provided on Dec. 8, 2015," according to Senior PR Manager Cathy Lewandowski. "This is only a temporary location for the AT&T authorized retailer store, as we are building a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 2,500 square-foot store that will open mid-to-late summer next to Applebee's at 2795 E. Andrew Johnson Highway."

Meanwhile, AT&T wasn't the only businesses that received a 30-day notice. Staffmark Regional Director Tamera Ailor said the Greeneville branch will spend its last day of business in the Fairgrounds Plaza this Friday.

On Monday, they will reopen at their new address, 1134 Tusculum Blvd., Ailor said.

"I do believe it will be a long-term location for us," Ailor said. "It all worked out great, as far as we think. It was an initial shock, but in the long-term, it's going to work out.

"The first additional shock of, 'You need to be out in 30 days,' was tough," she added, explaining that the businesses were told the building would soon be demolished and an extension could not be granted.

Sun Loans Manager Mandy Hilemon said that her business, however, has a long-term lease for their location, and therefor should be able to stay on site throughout the course of the demolition and rebuilding.

"We've not heard anything yet," Hilemon said. "They could possibly be letting this building, the part [Sun Loans and Franklin Financial] are in, stand until the other part is built. Once [additional retail space] is built, everybody will be moving to the other side of Family Dollar.

"Once they get those built on the other side of Family Dollar, they're actually going to tear down the rest of this and build more office spaces," she added.

Hilemon explained that there is a possibility her business will be shuffled temporarily to the current Staffmark location to enable more demolition to take place at once.

"We know that at least Food Lion, from where Family Dollar ends through where AT&T ends, we know for sure that that is soon to be demolished," she said.

McKay confirmed that the leases under which Franklin Financial and Sun Loans are operating are longer-term leases than those that were held by Staffmark and AT&T. The two former businesses have also been good tenants, he said.

"We're working with them," he said.

The developer, Johnson Small, did not immediately reply to inquiries concerning a timeline for the demolition and the number of storefronts that will be added to the complex.

January 14, 2016

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