What's In Store

Here's the latest on the next grocery store eying uptown Charlotte

10 Tryon
10 Tryon

With Publix continuing to expand its footprint in Charlotte, and with the city's grocery options uptown increasing with the opening of Whole Foods last week, many readers are curious: What's the status of the rumored Publix uptown?

In short, it's still going to happen — eventually.

According to developer David Furman, who is behind the 10 Tryon building that's slated to break ground soon at 10th and Tryon streets, the project is still on track, although Publix hasn't signed a lease yet.

"The project is still alive and we hope to be moving forward soon," Furman said of 10 Tryon, a nine-story, mixed-use building that will include a roughly 30,000-square-foot Publix at its base.

Besides the supermarket, the building will have another 5,000 square feet of retail space, Furman said.

"We are way closer to having (the deal) done than we have ever been. Publix is not going to announce they are officially anywhere until they have a lease," he added.

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On Charlotte Talks Tuesday, Ed McKinney, assistant director of the Charlotte planning department, said that the Publix uptown is "still in its planning stages."

"It’s a great example of where the market is going with the mix of office and residential uses. Having services like a grocery store to support this part of uptown as an urban neighborhood will require those kind of uses,” McKinney said.

McKinney was part of a discussion about the North Tryon Vision Plan, a major effort to breathe life into a portion of uptown where development has lagged compared with the southern part of uptown. The effort calls for pedestrian passageways and smaller streets bisecting large blocks and creating a pedestrian-friendly zone full of shops, restaurants and other appealing features at street level.

"As all the momentum over last eight years has moved to the south side of Tryon, the north side has been left hanging a little bit," Furman said.

Publix would join the recently opened, 36,000-square-foot Whole Foods on Stonewall Street as another full-size grocery store in uptown Charlotte. Harris Teeter has an 18,000-square-foot Harris Teeter on West Sixth Street that opened in 2003.

Amazon's Whole Foods market opened its doors this morning to hundreds of people. First 500 customers got a free gift card ranging from $5 to $500.

Based in Florida, Publix has been rapidly growing in the Charlotte market since opening its first North Carolina store in Ballantyne in 2014. Spokeswoman Kim Reynolds told Rotary Club of Charlotte about three years ago that the company would “love to be in uptown” someday.

On the eve of the opening of the newest Publix store in Cotswold, Reynolds said the chain still hasn't signed a lease on an uptown location, so she had nothing to share yet.

But she echoed her thoughts from 2015: “Nothing confirmed, no leases signed. But we’d love to serve uptown eventually.”

Staff writer Ely Portillo contributed.