Albertsons #4365/Publix #401
95 S. US Highway 1, Jupiter, FL - Jupiter Square
The city of Jupiter. When most people think of Jupiter, some of the first things that will pop into their mind are the rich and famous, who like to buy mansions over on nearby Jupiter Island. Jupiter's famous lighthouse is another thing that may pop into your mind, located over on the inlet, having led boats safely into the Loxahatchee River for the last 150 years. Nearby Jupiter resident Burt Reynolds may also pop into your mind, as Jupiter is home to a park bearing his name and was formerly home to a museum of his life. Or if you're really not familiar with this area, you'll probably just think of the planet. After reading this post, Albertsons will probably be another thing that will pop into your mind when someone mentions Jupiter. Albertsons had a very strange presence in the City of Jupiter, a presence that will be covered in this post and also in another upcoming post. So, let's start at the beginning. The first Jupiter Albertsons (#4365, which is being featured here today) opened in Jupiter Square at the corner of US 1 and Indiantown Road back in 1987. This intersection pretty much marks the heart of town, and this new shopping center was supposed to serve as a new draw to the eastern side of Jupiter, whose bix box retail hub is mainly located to the west of town along Indiantown Road, heading toward I-95. That grand plan, though, ended up leading to one of the very first Albertsons Florida casualties, with this Albertsons closing only three years after it originally opened in late summer 1990, around the same time Albertsons also closed their stores in Coconut Creek (#4351) and Hallandale Beach (#43XX). According to Albertsons, their reasoning for closing this store was that it was a real estate mistake. According to an article about this store's closing, Albertsons says this store suffered from 'poor access and traffic problems'. Additionally, Albertsons said they were having trouble luring their target customers, the more middle income demographic located primarily to the west along Indiantown Road, to the eastern part of town, which is typically where Jupiter's higher income citizens live, near the beach and Jupiter Island. Albertsons got out of this store fast, and not long after they left, Publix took over this location. I guess one chain's real estate mistake is another's real estate success. Publix has been in this location now for 25 years, and they seem to do really good business here, even with another Publix only half a mile west of here, but we'll get to that part of our story later. Publix tends to lean more upscale in products and image than Albertsons, so they would definitely be able to attract more of the higher income demographic that Albertsons was not as successful at attracting. As far as traffic problems, I'm not sure what Albertsons was referring to. This plaza was designed like most I've seen, and the parking lot design didn't seem horrible. I've seen much worse parking lot designs. Maybe the traffic issues were resolved by Publix or the city/state years ago. Anyway, Albertsons' loss became Publix's gain. That became even more true in 2008, but let's get back to this store for now...
Design-wise, this was a fairly typical Superstore model Albertsons, and most of the Superstore design was retained by Publix. This is the archway over the right side entrance. Sorry about the lack of exterior views here. I was trying to beat a bad thunderstorm, and this photo and the previous one were all the exterior pictures I was able to get before the pouring rain started, along with one of the liquor store.
The right side entrance into the store, which is where we will be entering. Albertsons originally would have had two swing doors here, like this, but Publix modified the entrance to their standards. To the untrained eye, you could very easily think this place was just another typical 90's built Publix store by going off of the exterior alone, as Publix's early 90's stores and Albertsons Superstores shared some exterior characteristics. However, once you go inside, the interior layout is nothing like an early 90's Publix, and it becomes much more apparent that this building was occupied by someone else before Publix came along.
With all that being said, let's head inside...
One quick comment before we get any further. When I came here, I saw this store had these really new looking plastic carts I've never seen at any other Publix before. I've been to Publix stores remodeled and built from the ground up in 2015, and all those stores still had the usual metal carts Publix has been using for years. I wonder if those carts will slowly be phased out for these in the near future. Anyway, back to Albertsons...
After entering through the right side entrance and turning immediately to the right, you come to Publix's Apron's Event Planning station, which was carved out of a small piece of the deli (sorry about chopping off the top part of the sign). I'm not really sure how many Publix stores have this feature at the moment, but I've only ever seen it in stores built within the last few years and at stores in more affluent areas. It's basically a catering service, and they'll help you plan menus, decorations, floral arrangements, and things like that for just about any type of event.
Heading over into the front right corner of the building, which is home to the Deli. This is also the same location Albertsons' deli was located in. This store retains Albertsons original layout almost exactly. There is one major change Publix made, and we'll see that in a moment.
Since this opened as a Publix in 1990, this store would have originally opened with Publix's Wavy Pastel interior. It's probably just me, but I think it would have been really interesting to see what this old Albertsons building would have looked like with that interior. Anyway, this store currently has a fairly basic version of the 3rd Generation Classy Market interior, like every other Publix now has in some form. From the looks of it, this store had the 2nd Generation Classy Market interior prior to this remodel, and Wavy Pastel before that. As for when this store was Albertsons, the interior would have been Blue and Gray Market for its entire 3 year life.
Heading on down the right side wall after the deli is the bakery. The bakery received the new rounded front typical for a 3rd Generation Classy Market Publix. Prior to this remodel, it probably still retained the more typical flat front from Albertsons.
Looking down into the Produce department in the back right corner from the bakery and deli. In many Superstore Albertsons, this area in the back corner would have opened up into a partial octagon shaped area, although some stores for one reason or another did not get that treatment. Also to note is that Publix replaced the lighting in this store to their standard, and replaced the Blue and Gray Market tile pattern with plain white tiles. A typical ground up built Publix has real terrazzo floors, so if you're ever in a Publix and don't see a real terrazzo floor in at least a portion of the building, it was something else before. I have also been to a Publix that took over another store's building, and there they replaced the former occupant's tiles with new tiles with a terrazzo pattern on them to better match a typical Publix.
Another thing to point out, which you'll also see in some of the other pictures that I took here, is that this Publix has lots of empty and open areas. Everything in here very spaced out and open. I think this building may have been a little too big for Publix when they first took it over back in the early 90's. These Superstore Albertsons were in the 55,000 square foot range, and the typical early 90's Publix was only 45,000 square feet. While Publix's many of Publix's modern stores reach 55,000 square feet, it still seems like Publix has a lot of space here that they don't know what to do with it. The effect is much larger if you come to this store in person.
Leaving Produce and heading into the main back aisle of the store. Meats is off to the right there, with Seafood further down in blue, and dairy just beyond that in yellow. Also, notice anything strange about the aisle markers?
Turning down aisle 2, which only runs 3/4 the length of the store. At some point, presumably after Publix took this building over from Albertsons, Publix moved the location of the pharmacy from the front left corner of the store to this island location in the middle of the grocery aisles, which is straight ahead. This choice of location for the pharmacy is strange even for the typical Publix built at any period.
Aisle 2 merges into aisle 3 when it approaches the pharmacy structure. The front of the pharmacy is to the left behind those sunglasses displays.
Heading around to the front end, looking from right to left. Albertsons's distinctive slanted second story office windows are still perfectly intact. These windows were a distinctive feature of Albertsons' Superstore model stores, and the entire design of the front end makes the store feel really big.
Looking down one of the grocery aisles toward the back of the store.
The portion of the back aisle looking toward dairy.
Meat cases. That pole just had to get in the way of the sign.
The center of the store, featuring the frozen foods department, same as it was in Albertsons days. The coolers have since been updated to the ones Publix typically uses.
Back at the front end, looking up at the office windows. This store also got to keep its classic Publix photo collage that was featured in the 2nd Generation Classy Market interior. A lot of the recently remodeled stores had these removed, however I've been noticing that lately many stores have been getting to keep these pictures. This was one of the best features that Publix has rolled out into their decor. That purple colored painting of a Wing Store partially cut off by that pole from register 8 even made it onto a Publix canvas bag that recently came out.
And flipping over to the back of the store once again for a look at the Seafood department and the seafood counter.
Dairy is also in the approximate location of where it would have been back in the Albertsons days. In some Superstores, dairy might have continued along the left side wall for a little bit, or they would have put the beer coolers there.
Remember me asking if you noticed anything strange about the aisle markers? Here's one up close. See it now? Publix decided to cut corners here. These are actually the markers from the 2nd Generation interior, however the usual number in the circle was popped off, and the 3rd Generation fake wood grain numbers was stuck in their place. See here for what an authentic 3rd Generation marker would look like. This is another thing I've noticed at many of Publix's stores that have been remodeled in the last year.
Another grocery aisle. This store really feels big.
And turning right out of that aisle and here's the front left corner of the store, originally home to Albertsons' pharmacy. After Publix took over this store, they moved the pharmacy over to that island location in the middle of the grocery aisles that we saw before. The old Pharmacy area was then converted by Publix into an expanded wine department. This store has a really large wine selection, more than the average Publix, and comparable to the large wine departments being put into some newer stores.
The last aisle that runs along the left wall, aisle 15. That's probably right around the number of aisles Albertsons would have had. Back when this store was Albertsons, this area would have been home to Health and Beauty and the Cosmetics departments, to complement the neighboring pharmacy. There also would have been a few short aisles running parallel to the front of the store in front of the pharmacy as well. When Publix moved the pharmacy, this area became home to chips and soda.
Looking along the back wall at what we just covered.
Looking back up aisle 15.
This little lighted overhang along the left wall would have originally lighted up the Health and Beauty and Cosmetics merchandise. Now it lights up the soda.
A few last looks along the front end before we leave this former Albertsons...
Heading out the left side entrance...
And I timed my departure from here right as it began pouring...
Looking down the front of the store. Not much changed here since the Albertsons days. Let's stay dry and stroll back down to the right side of the store to take a look at the former Albertsons liquor store...
The former liquor store, attached to the right side of the building. The former Albertsons liquor store is still home to a liquor store, currently Star Wine & Spirits. From a quick Google search, it looks as this place is a part of a small local chain of liquor stores. Publix didn't begin to operate liquor stores until sometime in the early 2000's, or maybe even the late 90's on a very limited basis, so that's why this didn't become a Publix Liquors location way back when. Publix has kept the attached liquor stores from just about every Albertsons they've taken over since the late 2000's for themselves as a part of their growing number of Publix Liquors locations.
Looking toward the liquor store entrance from Publix.
Still all original from Albertsons over here as well, except for those pieces of plywood added to the rails.
Looking back toward Publix.
The very 80's road sign facing Route 1.
Like the road sign says, this Outback Steakhouse is the other anchor to this plaza, located at the very end of the strip of stores near Route 1. My guess is that this place has been here since the plaza was built.
And now for some Bird's Eye Aerial Images courtesy of Bing Maps:
And some Historic Aerials courtesy of Google Earth and Historicaerials.com:
Former Albertsons #4365 - 2014 - US 1 is off to the left part of this image, and Indiantown Road runs along the top.
Former Albertsons #4365 - 2005
Former Albertsons #4365 - 1999
Former Albertsons #4365 - 1994
Future Albertsons #4365 - 1979 - Still an empty lot at that time
Another thing about this Albertsons was that it was one of the three Albertsons stores built within a mile of the Atlantic Ocean, with this store only being a half mile away from the beach. Interestingly, all three of those stores were complete flops for Albertsons, all of which ended up closing in the 90's, like we saw with this store. The other two beachside stores were #4368 in Indian Harbour Beach (my photography skills have improved very much since that post, our very first store post) and #43XX in Hallandale Beach.
And while being that close to the beach, you might as well stop by, right?
These pictures were taken from Jupiter Beach Park, one of the two closest public beach accesses to the former Albertsons. That's the Jupiter Inlet there in the distance.
Stormy seas this day. Good thing Jupiter Inlet has a lighthouse...
...And the light was on too! Unless that was just a glare, but I'm pretty sure the Jupiter Lighthouse is still in use. This is the famous lighthouse I mentioned at the beginning of the post, and it's considered Jupiter's most famous symbol. Its construction was authorized by the government in 1853, and it lit its beacon for the first time in 1860. If you're interested in reading more about the lighthouse, you can read about its history here.
I couldn't get any closer than this while I was in the area, but they do open the lighthouse and its grounds to the public for tours, even though the Coast Guard still has a small operation here.
Well, that just about wraps up our look at this former Albertsons. While it may have appeared that Albertsons had some bad luck in Jupiter with a store that only lasted for three years in the late 80's/early 90's, Albertsons wasn't done with Jupiter just yet. Jump ahead seven years from the closing of store #4365 and move a half mile to the west to the other side of the drawbridge and what do we see? Yes, another Albertsons! Store #4446 to be exact. That store fared much better than the original Jupiter Albertsons ever did, but I don't want to get too far ahead just yet. That store will get its own post, and will be featured here next time on AFB to complete the story of Albertsons stores in Jupiter.
So until then,
The Albertsons Florida Blogger