34th Street Publix gets OK to apply for demolition, rebuilding

Last month, the City of Gainesville Development Review Board voted to approve one of the critical permits to allow for the redevelopment of the Westgate Shopping Center. The proposed redevelopment will include a new Publix and other retail spaces, designed in a manner that promotes a pedestrian-friendly design near the UF campus. eda is excited to be part of the design team for this project, providing civil engineering, land planning and surveying services. Read more in the Gainesville Sun.

Gainesville, Florida -A busy Publix in Gainesville is one step closer to being demolished and rebuilt after the city granted the property owners’ petition for a variance on Tuesday.

Now, a formal application to renovate the Publix at Westgate Shopping Center, 125 SW 34th St., may be filed by the owners of the 5.53 acre-property.

The property owners plan to change the configuration of the store, which currently faces Southwest 34th Street, so that its front entrance will face West University Avenue, according to a staff report filed by the Gainesville Development Review Board.

Truck and service access to the main building would be along the side of the building that faces Southwest Second Avenue, if the plan is set in motion.

The current approximately 240,000-square-foot Publix store was annexed in 1961, the report said.

“The shopping center is very old,” said Lawerence Calderon, a planner with the city’s Department of Doing.

“It has older infrastructure and utilities. A lot of the code for building has changed.”

The redevelopment, Calderon said, would transform the center from being automobile-focused to allowing more pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

“It is in line with the city’s goal to have more development oriented to be bike- and pedestrian-friendly,” he said.