Publix at 9th and Bayou to open soon

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm very excited at the work being done at the site of the soon-to-open Publix supermarket at 9th Avenue and Bayou Boulevard (formerly Albertson's). Thanks to the efforts of City staff including Mr. Thaddeus Cohen, Publix has implemented several key improvements to that property, including the installation of trees and landscaping in the parking lot, and clearing of the on-site retention pond. These measures help mitigate stormwater runoff into the adjacent Carpenter's Creek.

Yesterday's Pensacola News Journal has a great story about the project:

Cohen said Publix is cleaning out the existing retention pond at the site, which had been in disrepair for many years.

The parking lot, which slopes south toward Carpenter Creek, is a major source of stormwater runoff. Without a fully functioning retention pond, the runoff becomes a major source of pollution for the creek, which feeds the headwaters of Bayou Texar.

"Getting that (retention pond) functioning again is very important," Cohen said.

Cohen said negotiations with Publix executives also resulted in the Lakeland-based company's decision to install trees and several rain gardens, or grassy islands, in the existing parking lot.
According to the story, Publix is hoping for an opening in early November.

It's great to see out-of-town developers come in and do a project right. On August 27, 2008, I wrote a letter to Publix as a member the Emerald Coastkeeper board, expressing concerns about some of the stormwater issues I mentioned above. I received a response from Mr. Clayton Hollis with Publix stating that they would be doing some landscaping and expressing Publix's willingness to work with the community. I would like to give a very big thank you to Publix for going above and beyond the minimum. Their improvements to the retention pond and parking area mean improvements in water quality in Carpenter's Creek, and then of course Bayou Texar.

Included below is a copy of my letter and Mr. Hollis' response.

PDF Letter to Publix

PDF Letter From Publix


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