A Publix in Spring Hill has reopened nearly a year after the shopping center’s owner began a massive redevelopment that included the demolition of the existing store and construction of a new one.
The redevelopment of the shopping center, Hernando West Plaza, was undertaken by a joint venture that includes St. Petersburg-based The Sembler Co. and the Tampa commercial real estate investment firm Forge Capital Partners.
The pair, which operate the property as Forge Real Estate Partners IV, spent $13.3 million on a revamp of the 43-year-old center on U.S. Highway 19. This revamp included both structural and cosmetic upgrades, among them LED lighting added to parking areas and sidewalk, new signage in common areas, a new roof and an upgraded HVAC system.
The project also included the addition of 3,200 square feet of small shop space and a 0.66-acre outparcel for banking, restaurant or medical services tenants. These, according to a statement, were added to the original remaining 54,800 square feet of inline retail space that underwent cosmetic and structural renovations.
“Our redevelopment strategy not only beautifies an aging shopping center and adds an updated amenity to the neighborhood, but also positions the shopping center for long-term stability,” Josh Beyer, a senior vice president for development at Sembler, says in a statement.
The joint venture bought the 110,367-square-foot Hernando West, which is about 35 miles northwest of Tampa, in March 2020. According to Hernando County property records, it paid $9.57 million.
Today, the Publix-anchored Hernando West is 94% occupied with a tenant roster that includes Beall’s Outlet, AAA Auto Club, Little Caesar’s and Miracle Ear.
As part of the redevelopment, the Lakeland-based grocer demolished the existing store built in 1980 and replaced it with a new 46,791-square-foot store on the site.
Publix did not respond to questions about what it cost to rebuild. Nor did it provide details of how it changed from before. But photos the grocer provided show a modern looking store, with a bright façade, colorful aisles and a host of prepared food offerings.
As for employees working at the store when it closed in December, a spokesperson did say in an email that during a rebuild they are relocated to nearby stores and many choose to return.
(This story was updated to reflect that Publix didn't handle any of the renovation or redevelopment work for the project.)