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Athens expects Publix store

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — A Publix grocery store plans to open in eastern Athens.

Athens City Councilman Ronnie Marks, who also serves on the Planning Commission, said the Publix site plan received approval from the commission Tuesday night.

Developer Bill Ming is developing the project, called East Side Junction, at Lindsay Lane and U.S. 72.

Ming has five tracts there, Marks said, and the Publix will be on tract three. The other tracts are not developed, but one will be a holding pond, Marks said.

George W. Jenkins founded Publix, a privately held company with stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee, in 1930 in Winter Haven, Fla. The company's Web site said Publix is now a Fortune 500 company with more than 800 stores and is one of the fastest growing employee-owned companies in the U.S.

The next step is for Ming to get commission approval of the building plans.

Marks said that in addition to the 46,000-square-foot Publix, Ming is proposing three adjacent buildings for future businesses. Marks said those buildings are 25,000, 15,000 and 10,800 square feet.

Marks said the continued growth in eastern Athens will require the city to address a third lane, or turn lane, on Lindsay Lane past Lindsay Lane Baptist Church.

That part of the city also needs a satellite post office, Marks said. The city has one post office, west of downtown Athens.

The city has petitioned the U.S. Postal Service and federal legislative delegation for a satellite office.

"One of these tracts would be a good site for it," Marks said.

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