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Publix purchases River Bridge Centre in Greenacres for $56.5 million

What does it mean for other tenants now that Florida-based supermarket chain owns shopping plaza?
Publix in Greenacres shopping plaza, June 7, 2022
Posted at 4:05 PM, Jun 07, 2022

GREENACRES, Fla. — Publix has purchased a Greenacres shopping plaza that it currently anchors.

JLL Capital Markets announced last week that it has closed the $56.5 million sale of River Bridge Centre to the Lakeland-based supermarket chain.

Opened in 1986 and renovated in 2005, the shopping center at Forest Hill Boulevard and Jog Road is already home to Publix. Other businesses there include Ace Hardware, Chipotle, Crunch Fitness, Pizza Hut and Ross Dress for Less.

Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment about the sale, but the South Florida Business Journal, which first reported the transaction, said the supermarket chain has a history of buying out its landlords.

"Opportunities to acquire grocery-anchored retail centers in South Florida continue to be in high demand from investors," Danny Finkle, of JLL Capital Markets, said in a news release. "The strength of the retail fundamentals driven by strong population and employment growth, as well as the barriers to entry for new retail supply, are driving strong rental rate growth and make this one of the best positioned retail markets in the country."

City Manager Andrea McCue said any additional revenue as a result of the sale will benefit the city.

"It will just go towards the city's general fund to offset increasing costs that we're experiencing as the city grows," McCue said. "Based on the 2020 census, the city has grown to almost 44,000 residents from 39,000 residents, so we — absolutely — any revenue we can use to offset our expenses will be a benefit to our residents."

According to JLL Capital Markets, the property also has nine outparcels, two of which were included in the sale.

Whether or not the tenants' rent will increase now that Publix is the new owner has yet to be seen.

"We haven't heard that," McCue said. "We would hope, understanding that they are long-term tenants, that they'll continue to support those tenants, understanding they've been there for a long time and, you know, want to continue to be good partners with them and then hopefully continue to be good partners with the city."

McCue said another fast-food franchise like Chick-fil-A will be built in the plaza as well.