Tifton Gazette

Local News

May 17, 2011

Publix coming to Tifton

TIFTON — It’s official — Publix is coming to Tifton.

According to a Publix Super Market official, the store is expected to open on a site at Eighth Street and Virginia Avenue next to the Tifton Mall in late 2012.

Dwaine Stevens, a media relations representative with Publix, said Tuesday that the store will be 45,000 square feet, an average size for Publix stores, and will have a pharmacy with a drive-through window, an expanded floral department and other traditional departments such as a bakery and deli.

“We look forward to serving our new neighbors, and we appreciate the collaboration between the mayor’s office and others involved with the process,” Stevens said.

Tifton’s Publix will employ between 110 and 115 people with “a greater percentage” of those employees coming from the local community, Stevens said.

“Jobs are a good thing right now,” he added.

Tifton Mayor Jamie Cater said he talked in 2008 with John Frazier, the company’s senior vice president and told Frazier that Tifton could support a Publix.

“He was convinced,” Cater said. “Then the bottom fell out of the economy, and they put it on hold. I then got a call from George Chase and he said Publix was ready to begin negotiations to get to Tifton.”

George E. Chase Jr. is listed as being affiliated with Alliance Realty Services LLC on an e-mail from him to Cater dated Tuesday.

“Thanks for all your confidence and assistance in bringing Publix Super Markets Inc. to your great town,” Chase wrote in the e-mail.

Cater said he believes the building of Publix will benefit Tifton’s economy.

“The mall is expected to be renovated, and new businesses plan to come in once Publix is up,” Cater said. “It will rejuvenate that commercial area and draw shoppers in from surrounding counties.”

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