Publix at Westgate Shopping Plaza opens Thursday on University Avenue

After being razed and closed for approximately 18 months, residents can rejoice in knowing that their favorite Publix neighborhood in the Westgate Shopping Plaza is ready to open.

The grocery store and deli, located at 3315 W. University Avenue, will hold its grand opening Thursday, according to signs around the building. The first 1,000 customers who show up will receive a free reusable bag.

The store’s main entrance, which closed May 1, 2021 and previously faced Southwest 34th Street, now faces West University Avenue. Truck and service access to the main building is now along the side of the building that faces southwest from Second Avenue.

Andrew Persons, director of Gainesville’s sustainability department, told The Sun in April 2021 that the new layout will help transform the mall near the University of Florida campus from being auto-centric to allowing for more pedestrian and cycle traffic.

The new Publix at Westgate Shopping Plaza at 3315 W. University Avenue opens Wednesday.

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“There has been a lot of thought given to the perimeter of the site, in terms of redevelopment,” he said. “We will be building a network of sidewalks to bring people from surrounding parking lots and sidewalks directly to storefronts. We have thought a lot about how we can connect pedestrians to facilities. »

The approximately 49,000 square foot grocery store is surrounded by three other retail buildings, the interiors of which all appear to be still under construction, as well as the long-running Checkers restaurant.

The store is expected to experience heavy foot traffic, as the location is located just west of the University of Florida and was previously a popular stopover for those planning to attend football games.

Flooding outside one of the retail buildings in front of the new Publix in the Westgate Shopping Plaza in Gainesville.

A visit to the new mall on Monday morning revealed flooding issues that will likely need to be addressed. Areas of the parking lot were under water after the Gainesville Regional Airport rain gauge recorded 2.29 inches of rain Sunday, according to the Jacksonville National Weather Service. Data shows Gainesville received 7.26 inches of precipitation from August 21-28.

The Publix will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The pharmacy inside the store will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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