CAROLINA BEACH — Will the Town of Carolina Beach ever get a new grocery store? That is the question residents, business owners, and town leaders continue to ask as two grocery giants continue a drawn-out battle to open.
Port City Daily is now able to safely say that the grocery store that is planned for the Federal Point Shopping Center is Publix — although the developer of the project has been unwilling to name the store in the media.
In an email from Gordon Kolb Jr., the President of GHK Developments to planning staff at Carolina Beach the subject line is, “Carolina Beach – Publix Demo Phasing Plan.”
GHK Developments is also the company behind the development of another Publix location on College Road in Wilmington.
Resistance from Harris Teeter
The redevelopment of the Federal Point Shopping Center was a project that was initially approved by Town Council in January.
But the adjacent property is owned by competitor Harris Teeter. The approval was met with resistance from State Senator and Attorney Michael Lee who represents Harris Teeter and appeals to the town’s decisions were appealed in court.
It is worth noting that Harris Teeter has owned the property adjacent to Federal Point Shopping Center for years and has been promising a new grocery store for just as long without so much as the foundation being laid.
In May, Judge R. Ken Harrell upheld the town’s decision to grant the conditional use permit to GHK Developments. At the end of May, Jubliee Carolina LLC, the developer behind Harris Teeter, filed an appeal of Harrell’s decision.
It appears that things are finally starting to move forward with Publix, albeit slowly.
In August, Kolb and city staff were discussing the demolition permits and plans for the plaza and owners of stores within Federal Point Shopping Center were told to vacate their storefronts.
Mayor of Carolina Beach Joe Benson said he has heard that GHK has applied for demolition permits and the process appears imminent, although, he could not speak for the developer he thought it would happen in November.
Members of the town’s planning department as well as Kolb himself has not returned requests for comment on the progress but emails to town staff show that the project is moving along.
(Be sure to tell us which store you would like to see in the poll below)
Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.p@Localvoicemedia.com