Publix coming to Calera, Chelsea

Calera and Chelsea officials are in various stages of bringing a Publix Super Market to their respective cities.

The city of Calera closed its deal with the Florida-based chain on March 3, said City Attorney Frank “Butch” Ellis. Publix will anchor an 89,400 square-foot retail center called Calera Crossings on Highway 70 at U.S. 31. The store is scheduled to open in 2010.

Calera Mayor-elect Jon Graham said Calera Crossings will feature six out-parcel properties that could foster additional business opportunities.

“We hope to recruit some sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s,” Graham said. “Once we get Publix situated, good things come around that.”

Graham said city officials have been working on the Publix deal for roughly two years. Now that details are finalized, the city can shift its focus to boosting revenues.

“From the city’s standpoint, I hope this will bring retail tax dollars to our city so we can afford to operate,” Graham said.

Just north of Calera, the city of Chelsea is in the infant stages of its Publix deal, said Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven.

“We are talking to a land developer and trying to put together a package,” Niven said. “Nothing is concrete yet. All the Is have not been dotted and all the Ts have not been crossed.”

The proposed site for the Publix is on the northeast corner of Highway 39 and U.S. 280. Niven said the store has been at the top of many residents’ wish lists.

“Our people have been requesting a Publix come in to our area,” Niven said. “Publix showed interest in us about two years ago. They wanted to come and we want them to come.”

Like the Calera store, the proposed Chelsea store will anchor a retail center that features out-parcels for restaurants and shops.

“I’m hoping in the next month or so final details will be worked out and we will start the process,” Niven said.

The Calera and Chelsea stores would be the seventh and eighth Publix locations in Shelby County. Publix has opened stores in Alabaster, Helena, Hoover, North Shelby and Pelham.