Publix 911

The online message boards are buzzing, and whether the neighborhood likes it or not, Brickell will get its third Publix this summer. 

Word on the street is that the long overdue opening at, yes, 911 SW 1st Ave is just a couple weeks away.  There isn't exactly a food emergency in the area. Or is there?

Juan Urrea, the owner of Brickell Shoe Repair a few doors down is thrilled at the prospect of what he hears will be a "Publix GreenWise Market," finally opening for business. 

"It's a different one, and I hear people talking about that being something they are looking forward to checking out," he notes. "It's also really good for foot traffic.  Things are picking up here, but there are still plenty of vacant storefronts on this block."  Urrea, who opened his doors one year this past January, didn't seem to be fazed by nuisances due to construction delays.  But he adds that it was initially a pain when Mary Brickell Village couldn't give a definitive answer as to when his space would be available because the grocery giant's plans were so up in the air.

Jackie Sayet
Signage branding appears to be the same old same old

I mean, it's not like they've been crying wolf or anything.  The announcement of the opening only went out November 29, 2007, and initially in 2002 when plans for the Village first broke.  Based on the view through the sliding glass doors on the 9th street entrance this morning, the movers still haven't gotten the memo.  There are plenty of construction workers and macho pick up trucks hanging out in the loading docks, too, awaiting direction. A quick visit to the company's website yields similar results; no listing yet for the Mary Brickell Village store under "Opening Soon." 

So I reach the company's Miami-area public relations contact to get the skinny and confirm that a Miami GreenWise Market store exists, a least now, only as a rumor.  I can't blame neighboring business owners for the wishful thinking. 

"The store at Mary Brickell is scheduled to open in early June," responds Kimberly Jaeger, a Publix media and community relations manager.  "It will be a traditional Publix store; however, it will carry Publix GreenWise foods and products." 

She goes on to explain that the third location will help service the large volume of customers currently shopping at the two other Publix stores in the area, and "because we saw an opportunity to welcome new customers in the neighborhood.  It is also a beautiful location that will make for a very uniquely designed store that customers will enjoy shopping at." I'm promised more details tomorrow.  For now, you'll have to road trip it to Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton or Tampa to find a GreenWise Market.  

But hey, maybe I'm not giving these guys enough credit. A walk to Starbucks, the development's frenetic nucleus in the morning, garners equally mixed reviews.  Customer Angela Rincon, 40 and not looking it, lives in the area and is a vegetarian and frequent buyer of organics.  "I wish it was a Whole Foods Market opening up instead, rather than just another Publix.  I already live in between the stores on 7th and 13th streets, so I don't really need another one.  But I don't really care either way." 

Choose confusion or complacency.  The jury's still out for me, but I am curious.