Publix is taking its proposed East San Marco supermarket to another level.
In a first for Jacksonville, the grocery store is designed on the second floor of a two-story building with parking on the ground level.
Eric Davidson, Regency Centers Corp. senior manager of communications, said the store will be easily accessible.
Customers will take a wide elevator to and from the ground floor or from the parking lot.
“The grocery element will be on the second floor, and the first floor will provide screened and covered parking with easy access directly to the store above,” he said.
Davidson said Publix and other retailers operate second-floor stores across the country. Publix has some in Florida.
Regency intends to develop the Publix-anchored shopping center on vacant land it owns at 1532 Atlantic Blvd., at Hendricks Avenue.
Regency and East San Marco design representatives will present the project and answer questions at a town hall meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Southside Baptist Church at 1435 Atlantic Blvd.
Renderings provided by Regency show an L-shaped center with retail stores facing Atlantic Boulevard and some facing Hendricks Avenue.
Publix anchors the two-story building that includes the ground-level parking.
Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets Inc. has said for more than a decade it would lease at the center, which has been discussed for 17 years.
There also is surface parking to serve the center.
While types of tenants are indicated on the plans, Davidson said those are concepts.
“Our leasing teams are sourcing potential candidates as we speak, and they are targeting unique restaurateurs and retail,” Davidson said.
The plans show conceptual storefronts, such as “San Marco Brewery” at the corner of Atlantic and Hendricks.
“It doesn’t hint at any leasing specifics,” Davidson said, although it will be a high-profile corner structure. He said it will be a two-story space for an unannounced restaurant concept Regency is targeting.
“We’re all set to show what we’ve been working on with Publix and the local stakeholders, and we hope everyone can make it out to see what we plan on bringing to the San Marco area,” Davidson said last week.
Seventeen years is a long time to wait to check out at Publix, so San Marco area shoppers might not need to wait much longer.
Davidson said Regency Centers wants to start work as soon as possible. He said the company has submitted a modification to the property’s planned unit development with the city.
The project was delayed by several factors, including the recession and a residential development partner that pulled out of the deal two years ago.
The city had approved the project, which included apartments and townhomes. The removal of the apartments also will be discussed Thursday.
“The aspects that were holding the project up previously have been removed, and it will all depend on the speed of the approval and permitting process,” Davidson said.
He said the construction team will be able to provide a more specific scope Thursday.
An East San Marco sign has been on the site for years.
Last year, property owner Regency Centers Corp. Chairman and CEO Martin E. “Hap” Stein Jr. said the project would continue, but with just the shopping center.
Stein said East San Marco will include “a high-quality grocery store” and about a dozen shops.
Stein said previously that Regency Centers will develop, own and manage an estimated 50,000 square feet of retail space comprising the 30,000-square-foot Publix and about 20,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
Davidson said those numbers changed slightly.