Eastward growth of Lakewood Ranch with new communities like Del Webb, Country Club East and Lakewood National appears to be setting the table for more Publix supermarkets in the master-planned community.
Publix plans to build its fifth Lakewood Ranch supermarket on about 27 acres at the northeast corner of University Parkway and Lorraine Road, according to plans submitted in January to the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Manatee County Building and Development Services.
The application for the 55,400-square-foot Publix was submitted by ZNS Engineering of Bradenton on behalf of North American Properties.
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Associated with the project, Covenant Way, which currently dead-ends at the headquarters of developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, would be extended and curve south to University Parkway. The new Publix shopping center would have access to Covenant Way on the east, Lorraine Road on the west, and University Parkway on the south.
It was unclear when Lakewood Ranch’s fifth proposed Publix might be constructed. Publix spokesman Brian West said this week he had no information on the new proposed stores.
Manatee County staff have until Feb. 15 to complete their comments on the application. The county’s principal planner, Margaret Tusing, said the project’s final site plan is going through its first round of review comments.
Eighteen months ago, the Bradenton Herald reported that Publix was planning to build its fourth Lakewood Ranch Publix to anchor an 82,500-square-foot shopping center on the northeast corner of State Road 70 and Lorraine Road.
The fourth Publix also would be developed by North American Properties. To date, the Publix proposed for S.R. 70 and Lorraine Road has not been developed. The land remains pasture.
Publix opened its first three supermarkets along Lakewood Ranch Boulevard at 8330 Market St., 11205 State Road 70 E., and 1755 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. at State Road 64.
To date, all supermarkets at Lakewood Ranch are Publix stores. An Earth Fare organic supermarket is proposed to anchor a 525,000-square-foot project at the northeast corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and S.R. 70.
Publix has 1,138 store locations, including 774 in Florida. Founded in 1930, it is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States. Sales in 2015 were estimated at $32.4 billion, according to Publix’s web site.