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Demolition and grading work at the site of the planned North Shore Publix should start by Aug. 1, developer Jack Wilcox said.
White-suited asbestos abatement workers are already processing the site in the 300 and 400 blocks of North Market Street, and Wilcox received the final approval on the site plan from the North Shore Design Review Committee on Thursday.
Three buildings will be demolished to make room for the grocery store, which will include 4,800 square feet of separate, additional retail space. Once demolition is finished and construction starts, the Publix should be finished within 10 to 11 months.
How long demolition takes will depend on factors like weather, Wilcox said.
"We've got a lot of dirt to move," he said, adding, "We hope to be open by the fourth quarter next year."
That's a few months later than initial estimates Publix made during the April groundbreaking, which put the store open by February 2014.
The North Shore Design Review Committee approved a lighting plan and some material changes to the rear wall of the building at Thursday's meeting.
Most lights will be focused down and there is less lighting closer to the residential neighborhoods that the 230-space parking lot abuts. The rear wall will be made out of split-faced blocks, which are concrete blocks with a rough-textured side.
A concrete retaining wall with a fence on top will separate the rear of the store from the sidewalk. Nobody showed up at Thursday's meeting to comment for or against the plans, which have been hotly contested.
"Well," Wilcox quipped to the committee. "That's a first."
Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at email@example.com or 423-757-6525.