City council gives the all-clear for new shopping center; Publix the rumor


With most of the bureaucratic red tape cleared, construction is expected to begin this summer on a new shopping center at the corner of Log Cabin Road and North Columbia Street.

The City Council earlier this week unanimously voted in favor of annexing three pieces of property outside of the city limits into the city. The first was 7.99 acres along North Columbia Street that sits just south of the new Elements tunnel car wash. The second is 19.6 acres on Log Cabin Road, just east of the car wash, while the third is a small residential property in the Long Leaf Trail/Horton Homes neighborhood.

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Two homeowners in the Long Leaf Trail/Horton Homes neighborhood spoke at the meeting and voiced their concerns. Tom Hareas, an executive with the Sembler Group, told the homeowners that his company plans to install a thick barrier between the shopping center and the neighborhood, consisting of cypress trees and other vegetation. Hareas added that many of the wetlands on the property will be preserved.

The Sembler Group more recently completed the North Macon Plaza shopping center off of Interstate 75 in Macon, which includes the following stores listed in the image below...

Sembler previously  told Baldwin2K that, if all goes accordingly, construction should begin around the summer of 2022 and "take about a year to build out," which would put the best-case opening date for the shopping center around the middle of 2023. The plans call for a "neighborhood, grocery-anchored commercial shopping center with restaurant and accessories uses in retail." The "grocery-anchored tenant" is rumored to be Publix. The Sembler Group has worked with Publix on a number of other development projects in the past, and an image of a Publix grocery store is the main image on the company's website's home page.

The development group's goal is to have access into the new shopping center from both North Columbia Street and Log Cabin Road, basically the same as the Kroger shopping center, which turned 10 years old a few months ago. For more perspective on the geography of the proposed shopping center, see the screen grabs immediately below...

Outlined is the Kroger shopping center (information courtesy of the Baldwin County Tax Assessor's Office)

Outlined is the property at 111 Log Cabin Road (information courtesy of the Baldwin County Tax Assessor's Office)

Outlined is the property at 2781 North Columbia Street (information courtesy of the Baldwin County Tax Assessor's Office)

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