Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal story.
Publix Super Markets Inc. — the most dominant grocery chain in Florida — has been searching for space for a smaller concept in downtown Orlando, sources told Orlando Business Journal.
The Lakeland-based grocer reportedly toured the roughly 15,000-square-foot Ferg’s Depot on Church Street at 78 W. Church St., sources said. Publix and the Ferg’s Depot owner Orlando Crazy Train LLC, an entity tied to Orlando-based Nunziata Holdings LLC, couldn’t be reached for comment. The space formerly housed Ferg’s Depot bar and restaurant, which closed in August 2018.
Interest from the major supermarket chain — which operates a location about 1 mile way at 400 E Central Blvd. — shows that downtown’s recent wave of residential growth may attract more retail to Orlando’s urban core. City officials expect an almost 10 percent downtown population jump in the next half decade, according to a city of Orlando spokeswoman.
“It speaks to the idea that downtown Orlando is becoming a more walkable community,” said Terrence Hart, a senior director with the Orlando office of Tampa-based commercial real estate agency Franklin Street, who is not involved with the Publix deal.