Saturday, May 14, 2022

Planned Albertsons #44XX - Port Charlotte, FL (And A Former Publix Too!)

 

Planned Albertsons #44XX
NWC of Veterans Boulevard and Peachland Boulevard, Port Charlotte, FL

     After my break from blogging last time, your very own AFB returns this week for a slightly different kind of post. We're going to get a little bit of Albertsons and a little bit of Publix in today's post, but not in the way we're normally accustomed to. Our Albertsons story and our Publix story involve two separate pieces of land, but these two stories do intertwine in a weird way as we'll see in a little bit. Some interesting things to see and talk about in today's post, so let's get right into this:

     Port Charlotte and its sister city North Port (originally called North Port Charlotte) was the first massive Floridian mega-development constructed by the Mackle Brothers owned-company General Development Corporation (GDC) in the mid-1950's. GDC was a sister company to the still-extant Deltona Corporation, whose primary goal was to build massive new residential communities in which the company could sell lots to northerners wanting to move to the tropical paradise that was Florida. The combined mass of Port Charlotte and North Port is absolutely huge (approx. 150 square miles), and even in 2022, still has sections that aren't even touched yet by development. However, those empty sections of town are just a testament to the development's massive size - going into the early 2000's, the combined North Port and Port Charlotte were pushing a population of 100,000 residents, with more people moving to the area on top of that. While Port Charlotte had enough of a population to attract a 1 million square foot mall to be built in the development's central core in 1987, it took Albertsons a surprisingly long time to develop an interest in putting a store in the area. Prior to the plans announced in the clipping above, the nearest Albertsons stores to Port Charlotte would have been the long-established #4346 in Venice 20 miles to the north, and the recently-opened #4458 in northern Cape Coral 30 miles to the south, a surprising gap in coverage for such a sizably populated region.


     While the area around Port Charlotte Town Center Mall and points north and south along Tamiami Trail are typically considered the retail hub of the area, at the turn of the 2000's, a population boom was happening in the far eastern part of the Port Charlotte area, close to the city's interchange with I-75 at Kings Highway. That area is known as the Sandhill development, and saw the construction of a new Publix and Winn-Dixie store in the mid-1990's, as well as additional highway-side businesses clustering around the interchange. In addition, new housing and apartments were popping up in the area too, making it more attractive to new businesses who wanted to establish themselves in the area. Wanting a piece of the development boom, Albertsons finally announced in late 2000 their intentions to build a store in the Port Charlotte area, placing the new store on an empty lot directly across from the existing Sandhill development Publix store in the Peachland Promenade Shopping Center.


     Albertsons' plans called for a new 57,560 square foot supermarket to be built on the property in Port Charlotte, alongside an attached liquor store and a 2,000 square foot Albertsons Express gas station to be built on an outparcel. While the plans for the new Albertsons were announced in late 2000, it appears that details were still being finalized for the project come 2002, as seen in the clipping from a county document below:


     The clipping above comes from a county document issued in July 2002, granting Albertsons a partial approval of their new supermarket project. The document explained that the county was all for the project, but Albertsons had to fix a few issues related to storm water runoff before construction could actually begin. However, this document from July 2002 was the last trace I could find of Albertsons' involvement in putting a store in Port Charlotte. I don't know if the storm water tweaks were too much of a hassle for Albertsons to deal with, or if the back and forth with the county dragged on into the 2003/2004 timeframe, getting to the point where Albertsons was giving up on Florida, and the plans were scrapped for that reason.


     While the exact reasons for Albertsons pulling out of the Port Charlotte project will remain a mystery, we came very close to seeing an Albertsons pop up on the plot of land in the image above. I'm not entirely sure how Albertsons wanted to place their building on the property above, but it would have been in there somewhere.


     Zooming out just a bit, we can see the proposed Albertsons site in relation to the Publix store across the street (Publix #408). By the time Albertsons' plans had come along, Publix had been established across the street for 10 years. However, shortly after plans for the new Albertsons store were announced, Publix threw out a little surprise of their own:



     In March 2001, Publix announced their intent to replace the existing 10 year old Peachland Promenade store with a brand new one. That new location was to be built on the empty lot adjacent to the existing shopping center. Whether prompted by the population boom or the threat of a new Albertsons popping up across the street, at the turn of the new millennium, it really looked like things were heating up in the supermarket wars of eastern Port Charlotte. Sadly, just like what happened with the plans for the new Albertsons across the street, Publix's plans for a new store fell through also:


     Come 2004, I found a document in the Charlotte County records where Publix was filing permits to do an interior remodel of their existing Peachland Promenade store (a snippet of which can be seen above). With Publix looking to do a remodel, that meant the replacement plans were called off, an odd development for sure. The fact that Publix's new store was called off after Albertsons's plans fell through seem to suggest the new store was primarily a response to the new Albertsons opening across the street. There is the chance that both plans falling through were purely coincidence, but it is intriguing to think that there was a time when Publix actually felt threatened by Albertsons!


     Going into the late 2000's, Peachland Promenade remained as it was, with a freshly remodeled Publix #408 chugging along as it had for years prior.


     By 2010, the planned Albertsons site across the street had been cleared with access roads installed, although there still wasn't anything definitive planned for the site. This work appears to have been done to make the property more attractive with the land "shovel ready" when a prospective new tenant came along.


     Coming into the early 2020's, the Albertsons site has been mostly developed into two separate apartment communities, with some small retail establishments on the outparcels facing the main roads (those small establishments including an Auto Zone, Firestone Auto Care, a bank, and an extended stay hotel). That combination of tenants sounds about right for a stereotypical 2020's development project in Florida, just minus the new gym and self-storage complex!


     The site isn't anything to write home about, so while in the area myself, I only took this one photo of the property while I was waiting at the light out front. The entire development is called "Springs at Port Charlotte" (as noted on that sign in the background), with the new hotel situated right on the corner of Peachland and Veterans, presumably where the Albertsons Express would have been built had Albertsons' plans gone through.


     While Albertsons' plans for a new store in Port Charlotte completely fizzled out, Publix decided to keep theirs on file. Even though Publix didn't get their new store in 2001 like originally announced, Publix decided to dust off their plans for a new Peachland Promenade store come 2012, building a much larger modern store in the same place where the 2001 location would have gone. The above image shows the new Publix under construction, serving as a small extension to the existing strip of stores on the site.


     The new store, Publix #1438, opened on March 13, 2013, 12 years after Publix initially announced their intent to build a new store on that adjacent property. So instead of lasting for only 10 years, the original Publix #408 got to live for 22 years - a bit more reasonable of a timeframe for a replacement situation. So what do you guys think - do you think Publix's original plans for a replacement were a direct response to the new Albertsons, or just a coincidence?


     Since that's about all there is to say about the planned Albertsons store, we'll use the remainder of this post to look at Publix #408 (or what remains of it, anyway, as there's a bit more to this place than a few satellite images of an empty lot). Even though Publix #408 closed in 2013, I managed to find a few pictures of the store on a website called waymarking.com, where people post pictures of random places and tag them to a map. Publix #408 had a really neat "old Florida" themed exterior, an exterior theme I've seen on a few modern Publix stores, but was pretty rare for these older generation stores.


     Here's a close-up of #408's right side entrance, through the doors of which we can see the original Wavy Pastel tile pattern on the wall. However, this store did not close with Wavy Pastel, as the remodel permit I found from 2004 would suggest this store did get Classy Market 1.0 after the original replacement plans fell through. Since this store lasted until 2013, there's a chance it could have remodeled once more before the new store opened too. However, I didn't find any interior pictures to see what decor this store had in its later years, or if it did go out with Classy Market 1.0.


     A blue tile pattern lined the front of the store, matching the blue paint scheme of the entire building. Some classic late 2000's Publix banners line the windows of the vestibule too.


     Here's one last look at #408 while it was still open. After the new store opened in 2013, the original location sat abandoned until 2017, when it began the transformation into what we'll be seeing today:


     After Publix moved to the other end of the plaza, the original building was remodeled away from its old Florida styling to this more modern stone and stucco motif. Following the remodel, the building still retained its original Publix look and shape, just spruced up a bit. The sloped metal roof panels are the only trait from the building's original design to survive the remodel, everything else being new. The entirety of the former Publix sat vacant until 2017, when Planet Fitness took the right-most half of the space for a new gym. The left half of the building sat vacant until 2021, when Goodwill moved from the other end of the plaza to the much larger slice of the former Publix building.


     Publix's signing would have been in that middle section of the facade, but with the building subdivided now, the individual tenant signs have been moved to the towers that marked each of Publix's original entryways.


     With Goodwill taking over a chunk of the old Publix, I was hoping to find some fun Publix relics inside, as a thrift store wouldn't be too thorough with a remodel, right? The doors we see here are original to Publix, as well as the design and aesthetic of the vestibule.


     Goodwill added the mural we see on the wall to the left (which depicts the nearby Charlotte Harbor), and painted the old Wavy Pastel tiles underneath the mural to solid blue.


     Leaving the vestibule, the inside of the new Goodwill is pretty disappointing. Goodwill gutted the interior prior to moving in, leaving only the original terrazzo floors and one other little surprise behind from the Publix days (and that other surprise we'll see in a little bit).


     This particular Goodwill store is run by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, who is the entity that runs all the Goodwill stores in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Hendry Counties. In my travels I've been to a few stores run by Goodwill of Southwest Florida, and while some have been bland and modern like this one, I did find one location in particular that was a goldmine of supermarket history. As you can probably tell, this was not that goldmine of supermarket history, but we'll be seeing that particular store another day!


     Like some of the various Goodwill operators in Florida, Goodwill of Southwest Florida skews toward selling a lot of new merchandise, which to me sucks a lot of the fun out of the traditional "treasure hunt" thrift store experience. However, Goodwill of Southwest Florida isn't as bad as Goodwill Suncoast (Tampa Bay's Goodwill operator) when it comes to new merchandise - Goodwill Suncoast felt like it was mostly new stuff for sale!

     Anyway, AFB's thrift store rant of the day aside, the photo above looks across the back wall of the old Publix store. Publix's meat coolers would have been located along this wall, with the service counter and produce located in the background in the back left corner.


     Turning around toward the front of the building again, here's a look at the second Publix's surprise Goodwill left behind. When the building was subdivided, Goodwill inherited half of Publix's upstairs offices (a traditional feature in these early 90's Publix stores - that window showing their location). The upstairs offices would have ran the length of the front end between the two vestibules, but now get chopped off half way due to the subdivision. The stairs to the upper offices and the restrooms are located in the same place Publix would have had those too.


     Back on the sales floor, here's a look toward the left side of the building, where Frozen Foods would have been. If you look closely at the floor, you can see the scars from where Publix's grocery aisles would have been.


     Goodwill's community resource center occupies the space that was previously the Publix Bakery. The book nook is where Frozen Foods used to be.


     From books, here's a look into the building's back left corner, where produce used to be. The former produce space is now home to furniture and wall art.


     Our last interior photo shows Goodwill's front end, with another look at the window from Publix's former second floor offices.


     While there wasn't much left to see from Publix inside, the outside of the building is still has plenty of Publix relics, like these windows running the length of the vestibule. The old blue and white checkerboard tiles have now been painted over in beige, but you can still see the outline of the tiles if you look closely at the wall under the windows.


     Over on the Planet Fitness side of the building, we see they kept Publix's original vestibule design, but replaced their original automatic doors with these manual ones. Planet Fitness did just as thorough a remodel to the interior of their half of the building as Goodwill did, so there wasn't much to see in here.


     A very tiny bit of the building's original old Florida aesthetic remains in the middle section between the two vestibules, with the detailing on the columns and the metal roofing panels.


     And with one last look at the exterior, that's what remains of Publix #408. Even if a lot of the interior was wiped away, at least the exterior aesthetic of the old Publix was kept, still making it pretty obvious what used to be here at a quick glance.


     Between the old Publix and the new Publix was this building, which was Goodwill's prior home before jumping over to the old Publix space. The old Goodwill building was built new around 2013, and wasn't previously a pharmacy (which it convincing looks like, especially in a Publix-anchored shopping center from the early 1990's).


     To finish out this post, here are a few photos of Publix #1438. I didn't go inside, but you can see some photos of the interior here. It's a pretty average modern 54M Publix, which appears to have opened with Classy Market 2.5 and later remodeled to Classy Market 3.0/Sienna.


     From looking at this modern Publix, you'd never realize how complicated of a history this place had, and how it possibly intertwined with the plans for a store across the street that never came to be. It's amazing what kind of stories these rather ordinary supermarkets can hold, and how Albertsons nearly changed the entire landscape of this intersection in Port Charlotte!

     With all of this talk about Publix and Albertsons today, Winn-Dixie is probably feeling a little left out of the party. That being said, I have a fun Winn-Dixie related post coming up next time before we return to our regularly scheduled Albertsons stuff. Come back in two weeks for that!

So until the next post,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Former Albertsons #4428 - Tallahassee, FL (Thomasville Road)

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Exerior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

Publix #1306
Former Albertsons #4428 / K-Mart #7203
3521 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL

Hey everyone!  You might ask why I'm back here on the AFB — well that I don't know!  You also may ask why I didn't refer to this store as a Publixsons in the title, and that is because it technically isn't.  However, you can say that there is still a Publiquorsons at Village Square, but I will get into those details later.

First, I want to show my appreciation for AFB's willingness to invite me back for another contributor post; I hope this one will be a treat for y'all!  I know I enjoyed researching and photographing this store on a few of my trips to the Capital City, in addition to another Tallahassee Publix that we explored back in March.  While in town, I also had a chance to photograph a few of the Sing Stores in the area and got plenty of new content for my blog (be on the lookout).  Now that's enough about me, let's jump into the history of this location.

1979: K-mart Plaza

The Tallahassee Democrat - June 28, 1979 - Newspapers.com

The history of this store dates all the way back to 1977, when Kmart decided to expand their footprint to include the rapidly-growing North Tallahassee.  I found mention of a lease dated November 28, 1977, which was signed two-years before the store would open on June 28, 1979.  This was Tallahassee's second Kmart, with the first opening in 1972 on Apalachee Parkway next to a fascinating Publix that survived into the twenty-first century. 

Kmart #4489 & Publix #113 - Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Kmart and Publix on Apalachee Parkway - Florida Memory - December 1975

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures online of the Village Square Kmart, so this picture of Kmart #4489 and Publix #113 will have to do.  I imagine the store would have looked more like this one in Lancaster, OH since they have the same corrugated concrete façade, or the now-infamous Vero Beach store that was also built in 1979.  The Apalachee Parkway Kmart was Tallahassee's last Kmart to remain open, closing in 2012.  In 2006, Publix #113 decided to move just down the road to a new store at Governor's Crossing II. 

Kmart #7203 would continue on with business-as-usual until late-1994, when it was announced the chain would close 110 stores by February 1995 (a full list can be found here).  While the other two Tallahassee stores survived the initial cut, the Thomasville, GA store was not so lucky.  I believe this was the beginning of the end for the discount retailer, since this is the first major round of closures I could find.   Twenty-seven years later, only one Kmart remains open in the Sunshine State, marking one of the slowest liquidations we have seen in retail history.

Colonial Stores signed a lease as a junior anchor in the Kmart shopping center on December 7, 1977.  Big Star, Colonial's discount grocery brand, opened in the plaza on September 16, 1979 and would last until early 1982.  Next up in this parcel was Pantry Pride, which opened its doors to hungry Killearn shoppers in May 1982.  Following the similar fate of Big Star, Pantry Pride would permanently close the cupboard in July 1984, citing company-wide financial troubles.  I couldn't find any information for another business occupying the parcel until 1988.  While there is a chance the storefront sat vacant, I wouldn't be surprised if another few grocers came through the revolving door of 3521-D, judging by the track record of the parcel.  December 1988 would bring new life and a new letter (3521-E) to this space as Drugs for Less moved in.  I couldn't find much information on the discount pharmacy chain, which ironically was started by Bruno's, other than it became an independent company in 1982.

The "Traffic Nightmare"

These stores are located at the Northeastern terminus of Capital Circle on Thomasville Road (Former Dixie Highway, US 319), just north of I-10; needless to say, there are a lot of cars that pass by daily.  This store was on the northern edge of town when it was built, and primarily served the growing residential developments in the area, including the Killearn Estates subdivision.  With all of the traffic, I was initially surprised at how poorly the initial stores in this shopping center did, until I realized there was a Walmart directly across the street and a Publix next door.  Hard to compete with those retailers!

This brings me to another, controversial topic: the intersection of those three major roads.  When Kmart first opened in 1979, concerns were raised about this section becoming too congested for travelers on Thomasville Road.  According to a DOT official, "If we put a traffic light there, it (the traffic problem) would be worse," since Thomasville Road's four lanes merge into two just south of the plaza.  Therefore, the issue was only deemed temporary and was disregarded.  

Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - October 21, 1979

Until, the transportation department realized they had a larger issue at hand a few weeks later.  The Tallahassee Democrat published an article with new plans for this oddly-configured intersection in order to solve a problem that would last much longer than they thought.  According to the clipping above, the issues began when the State DOT assumed US 27 / Monroe Street would be the primary route into town; however, they were dumbfounded when Thomasville Road actually grew to serve that purpose.  City leaders "knew the state plan wasn't going to work" during the initial planning of Interstate 10 but were ignored.  They were right.

Traffic on Thomasville Road in 1995 - View of Tallahassee #17 Sing Store Amoco - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - February 26, 1995

I assume the project proposed in 1979 solved some issues of this intersection in the interim; although, it reared its ugly head again in the mid-'90s due to North Tallahassee's rapid growth.  As we can see in the photo, gridlocked traffic on the corridor was commonplace.  The article above describes the implications construction would have on businesses as the massive construction project began, and how this stretch of Thomasville Road was the busiest in Leon County.  It looks like the service roads that were proposed in the late-'70s were never built between the Thomasville Road exit and Capital Circle as shown in the map below.

This article also gave me my first glimpse of the sign for the Tallahassee #17 Sing Store (the Amoco sign above), which is one of three Sing Stores Amoco opened in Tallahassee after 1990.  If you zoom in below the gas prices, you can see the Sing logo for the convenience store.  This store is located across Thomasville Road from the Kmart Plaza.

Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - January 6, 1996
Why make a map when I've been given one?  We can see the Albertsons, Publix, and Sing Store.

During this phase of construction, the state DOT ran an ad campaign featuring Dr. Tom S. Vill, R.D. (Road Doctor) which contained several medical metaphors.  I think it is hilariously cheesy, especially since they created a whole persona around Dr. Thomasville Rd.  Oh, the '90s!

Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - May 26, 1996

In the end, it seems like the flyover project was just the prescription needed to cure the area's traffic ailments. Traffic is generally smooth in this area, with the primary side-effects being how tricky it is to navigate the intersection even if you are familiar with the area.  As we will see later, I understand why Publix decided to close #225 and move to the former Albertsons because it is much easier to turn into Village Square shopping center (Kmart / Albertsons) than Killearn Shopping Center (Publix / Hobby Lobby) when driving south on Thomasville Road.  More recently, another construction project was undertaken in this area to rebuild the I-10 interchange; it began in 2006 and was completed around 2009-2010.  The main focus of this was to add exit lanes to-and-from I-10 West with direct access to Capital Circle.

1995: Village Square

Books-A-Million #872 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
 
Books-A-Million #872 / Drugs for Less #391 / Pantry Pride #? / Big Star #?
3521 Thomasville, Road, Tallahassee, FL

That's right, 1995 brought great change for the Kmart shopping center, as both anchor tenants (Kmart & Drugs for Less) closed their doors for good.  Shortly after the announcement of the "monolithic" $16-$18 million road construction flyover project on Thomasville Road and Capital Circle, Books-A-Million announced they would move into the Drugs for Less space while Albertsons staked a claim over the former Kmart for a 53,000 sqft store.  Blockbuster was proposed as a third tenant but I'm not sure if they ever moved in.  I know the AT&T store was previously a Cingular Wireless retailer before the two companies merged.  With Kmart gone, the plaza was renamed to Village Square.

2022 Recreation of Albertsons #4428 by the Sing Oil Blogger - Albertsons Florida Blog
Albertsons #4428 recreation using Adobe Photoshop - 2022

Normally I'd expect to see the old Kmart torn down to make room for a shiny, new mid-late 90's Albertsons store.  Nope.  The big A decided the best course of action was to clean out the inside, spruce up the outside, and move right into the 1979 building.  Strange, huh?  This also brings me to the unique part about this store: it is a very rare example of a Kmartsons!

Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - January 17, 1996

I vaguely remember seeing the outside of this store before it was eventually torn down, but boy was it a sight.  Fortunately, Flickr user Andy Callahan was able to capture this odd dinosaur before it saw the wrecking ball.  That being said, let's take a look at Albertsons #4428.

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

This store opened on January 17, 1996, but I couldn't find any pictures from when the building was open, so I have no idea what the inside looked like.  Regardless, here is the façade Albertsons would have added before they moved in.  We can clearly see the "Albertsons" and "Sav-on" (has anybody else realized that the pharmacy name is French for soap?) labelscars, in addition to the ones for "Food" and "Pharmacy" on the left and right, respectively.  In the left edge of the picture, we can also see the entrance for the liquor store.

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

Walking up to the front doors, we are reminded that "[our] new Publix supermarket will be coming soon."  Other than that, it looks like most other Albertsons entryways.  It seems like a few decals may be missing (I'd imagine we would've been "Welcome[d] To Albertsons" had these pictures been taken a year earlier) but we still have plenty of memories before Albertsons used the left door to "EXIT" the property.  Luckily, we will be able to follow the lead of one of these stickers later on in this post . . .

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

Stepping back, we see a scene that probably didn't change that much since the store closed: an empty parking lot.

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

Somebody did leave behind this lone buggy in one of the cart corrals.  By examining the contents, it looks like the last shopper may have paid a visit to the liquor store before fleeing the scene.

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

Now we've got a good look at the rest of the shopping center.  AT&T occupies the space next to Albertsons, and Books-A-Million calls the Jr. anchor space home.  We are also introduced to something odd: two garage doors on the right side of Albertsons.  How strange.  

This view of the façade really reminds me of the Lancaster Kmart, just look at the lights and the corner of the building.  This is one of my favorite parts about standardized retail construction; even if one building is altered or gone, you can still find other locations to fill in the gaps!

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

But wait, there's more!  For some reason, Albertsons decided to leave behind Kmart's former garden center and auto service center.  Some Kmart experts out there may say otherwise, but to me this is the most obvious relic that was left behind.  I assume Albertsons didn't need this extra space on the right side of the store, so they figured it was better to leave it then try to hide it.  Albeit, Fred's didn't try to hide these departments when they moved into the Thomasville store but I feel like this is a different scenario.  We will see that Publix had different ideas about how to make this location a "classy" grocery store.

Albertsons #4428 (Village Square) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Andy Callahan - Flickr - September 25, 2009

Our last look at #4428 shows the painted over road sign in the rear view mirror of a number of cars on Thomasville Road.  I vividly remember riding by this store a few months later and seeing construction crews tearing down the 30-year-old building.  One thing that I thought was odd is how they managed to preserve the liquor store during the demolition, which now stands next to 2010's shiny new Publix.  In order to get there, we first need to take a look back at Publix #225 which is next door to Village Square.

1980: Killearn Shopping Center

Publix #225 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Courtesy of 365 Thru Amy's Eyes - Publix #225 - November 2010

Hobby Lobby #469 / Former Publix #225
3483 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL

Opened in 1980, (with a soft opening on November 6) this store started out as a standard 1970’s model 39,000 sq. ft. store, featuring stripped terrazzo floors and a pastry shop. I found where #225 underwent extensive renovations in 1991-1992, adding 5,000 new items and nearly 15,000 sq. ft. to the left side of the store. With the addition came new selection, including a variety of Kosher and ethnic foods, and a new 54,000 sq. ft. floorplan. According to the store manager Randolph Maphis, "The remodeling, begun last October, gives the Killearn Publix the most grocery and frozen-foods space of any Publix in the 400-store chain."  The article describes how shoppers were confused by the rearrangement of the store, "similar to the renovations of the Parkway Publix a few years ago." (If you haven't checked it out, Flickr user shawson did us all a huge favor and saved some memories of this cool store before it disappeared forever) While it is shocking to hear that a 54,000 sq. ft. store was essentially the largest in the chain, Publix now has more than 400 stores outside Florida and more than 800 in the state, with modern 54M stores being commonplace.

Publix #225 (Killearn Center) Classy Market 1.0 interior - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Courtesy of 365 Thru Amy's Eyes - Publix #225 - November 2010

You can tell this photo isn't from any time in the recent past, just look at how stocked it is! Even better, it is the cleaning supplies aisle!

It is very rare to look back on a store that closed over a decade ago and find a fair number of pictures.  I'm also not sure how I stumbled across the blog post that contained these pictures - I guess it was my lucky day.  Regardless, this shot was taken on aisle 11 looking toward the back of the store at the meat department.  You can look at the terrazzo floors and tell we are on the left side of an older store due to the direction of the stripes.  We can also see the alternate version of Classy Market 1.0 (maybe Classy Market 1.5?) signage that drops the serif font seen elsewhere.  I believe my former store, which was remodeled around 2007-2008, received the CM 1.5 signage as well.

Publix #225 (Killearn Center) Classy Market 1.0 interior - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Courtesy of 365 Thru Amy's Eyes - Publix #225 - November 2010

When #225 was expanded in 1991, it looks like they rearranged it to look like a 49N store from the period (check out my page on Publix store layouts if you need a refresher).  One key difference between this store and the 42Ns of the time is the row of coffin coolers in front of the meat counter.

I'm not sure why the flooring was redone under the deli section, but I believe the meat counter would have been centered on the converging chevron floors.  I also see some teal cart bumpers on the coolers that date back to this store's Wavy Pastel days.  Another rare sight is the CM 1.0 aisle markers, which I thought were extinct until I saw them hanging on in a CM 2.5 store a few months ago.

Publix #225 (Killearn Center) Classy Market 1.0 interior - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Courtesy of 365 Thru Amy's Eyes - Publix #225 - November 2010

Our last look inside #225 is at the produce department in the back left corner of the store, with the seafood counter behind us.  If you zoom in, you can see the ice cream freezers in the bakery, past the sign for aisle 16.  Another trace of this store's addition is the linoleum floors in this department and the disappearance of the stripped terrazzo.

While researching this store, I also came across a fun meme that I had seen back in 2014.  Coincidentally, it is related to #225 — and you'll see why.

The Source - Jameis Winston running with Publix crab legs - May 15, 2014

Some of you may remember when FSU quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of stealing crab legs from a Tallahassee Publix.  Later, TPD released surveillance footage showing Winston picking up some crab legs from the seafood department, wandering around the store for several minutes, and leaving without paying.  It looks to me like he was in a Publix just west of FSU's campus (wouldn't that make sense!) when he committed the theft.  Somebody creative on the internet decided to make a meme on the subject and related to FSU's recent defeat of Auburn in the National Championship, while using #225's produce department as the backdrop!  Ironically, he would be running toward the seafood department in this picture.

Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby #469 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

When compared to the picture of Publix #225 above, we see that Hobby Lobby didn't do much to the façade of the store (ironically, both prominently advertise "floral" departments).  The biggest change they made was closing off the two side vestibules and creating a single entrance / exit where customer service would have been.  They even managed to leave the singular light that is below "Floral" in the picture above.

Hobby Lobby #469 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

Inside, however, is a different story.  Just through the doors, we see no visible traces of a Publix past. Only Valentine's Day merchandise for sale in late December.  Hobby Lobby put in a new dropped ceiling (removing the raised ceiling over the grocery department, etc.), new lighting, and new flooring.

Hobby Lobby #469 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

To most people, this store would look like any other craft store. However, the keen-eyed amongst you might have picked up on one retail relic thus far; if not, I'll just let the suspense draw on.

Hobby Lobby #469 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

More home décor, pictures, artificial plants, and some off-white linoleum floors . . .

Hobby Lobby #469 - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

About those floors, the picture above was my crude attempt to show what was blatantly obvious in the store: terrazzo expansion joints.  If you scroll up to some of my other pictures, you can see some the diagonal lines in the flooring that hints at what is underneath.  It is a shame Hobby Lobby decided to cover up the floors because it looks like Publix left them in good condition!  Oh well, maybe somebody will be surprised to uncover them in 20 years or so.

Hobby Lobby #469 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

I'll close out this store's tour in the fabric department, looking toward the (artificial) floral department in the front of the store.  I believe this is a similar perspective to the picture of the Publix produce department because the columns in front of me would have likely been in between freezer aisles 15 & 16.  

CVS Pharmacy #3910 (Killearn Center) - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
 
CVS #3910 / Eckerd #? / Shoppers Drug Mart #?
3479 Thomasville Rd, Tallahassee, FL

To the right of Hobby Lobby, we also see a CVS that was previously an Eckerd and Shoppers Drug Mart. I'm still surprised this pharmacy was never closed and moved to an outparcel but maybe they just liked the location.  From what I have found, Shoppers Drug Mart held their grand opening here for their second store in town on October 16, 1980. Meanwhile, Eckerd was originally in the nearby Carriage Gate shopping center and moved to this location when they bought the Shoppers Drug Mart chain in 1986.  CVS took over this store shortly after they acquired it and 12 other Leon County Eckerd locations from JC Penny as part of a $2.15 billion deal.

Other original tenants of this plaza included:

  • Pichards Ace Hardware
  • Clotheshanger
  • Hair Happenings
  • Hobbit Hoagie
  • New Elegance
  • Pabs Hallmark Shop
  • Pizza Pro
  • Pony Express
  • Scissor Wizard

2010: Publix #1306 at Village Square

Publix #1306 - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

Now that we've covered that tangent, let's hop back over to Village Square and what became of Albertsons #4428.  I want to apologize for the cluttered shot above but thought I should include it for several reasons.  The first, is that this store is extremely hard to fit in one picture due to its massive size and all of the palm trees.  The second, it is not like Publix to keep so many haphazard buggies in the parking lot unless they are really busy (which they were, more on that later).  And finally, I found myself being followed by a slightly creepy man as I was walking down this sidewalk to the store, and I wanted to be brisk with my walk and photography so he wouldn't catch up with me!

Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - September 14, 2008

This new store was announced by Publix in 2009, after they had purchased two of the three remaining Tallahassee Albertsons the year before.  The building was torn down in late-2009 and was said to be the site of a replacement store.  Publix initially announced a new first-gen GreenWise Market would open in the former Albertsons on North Monroe Street, but then rumors circulated that Publix may build the store here.  In the end, this store received a large GreenWise section, but the Capital City would ultimately have to wait nearly another decade before a full store would come to fruition

Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - November 14, 2010

I've been to Publix #1306 on several occasions before the time I mentioned above, the first being shortly after it opened on November 11, 2010.  I, along with a number of other people, was shocked by the size of this 61M "giant monster mega" Publix at the time and I still think it is quite large.  I since have visited three times in the last year for a variety of reasons.  The first (May 2021), which is my smallest photoset, was just to grab a few items while I was passing through.  I happened to notice a few oddities that I decided were photo-worthy in my early days of retail photography.  The second (November 2021), was after a friend and I spent the day at several local attractions (yes, I did drag my friend to other stores, including #1427, to take pictures of).  We decided to stop-by since I had a few items that I was looking for at a larger store like this one.  To my surprise, this Publix was midway through its Sienna (CM 3.0) to Evergreen remodel and I had no idea!  (It wasn't long before I noticed the sloppily-painted walls and missing signage.)  The third-and-final time was a few weeks later (December 2021), when I wanted to see my first completed Evergreen store. I will say, the last trip was a bit more stressful than the others for four reasons: 1. I knew I was going to write this post so I wanted to capture good pictures of this store, 2.  I had a grocery list that I needed to pay attention to, 3. this store was very crowded, and I don't like crowds (especially when taking pictures - at 2 PM on a weekday!), 4. This store is gigantic — and still overwhelming.  My photo above was from my third trip.  With three trips and a décor change involved, buckle up, because this is going to be a long post and a lot of pictures!

Publix #1306 Grand Opening (Village Square) - November 11, 2010 - Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
Courtesy Newspapers.com - Tallahassee Democrat - November 11, 2010
No, I couldn't find the online photo gallery mentioned.

It looks like this store opened with the Invigorate (Classy Market 2.5) interior based on the meat and seafood department signage in the picture above.  I'm not sure which store was the first to debut this décor, but #1306 was certainly one of the earliest adopters. Unfortunately, I can't find any better pictures of this store before Sienna was installed.  I believe Invigorate was first rolled out in 2010, so this store would make sense as a prototype with all of the fanfare it received.  Furthermore, this store was the third 61M to be built in Tallahassee (the others being #782 & #852), I believe the first and only of this prototype to be built since the early 2000's.  I find it odd that Publix would implement a design that had been sitting on the shelf for two-thirds of a decade, only to toss it back in the trash.  It seems that Publix only made minor changes to this prototype between when #1306 was built and when Tallahassee's other 61M stores were constructed in 2002, which shows how the oddities of this store just keep coming!

First, we get to "visit our full service liquor store" (remember the sticker on the door):

Publix #1306 (Village Square) - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog

Located to the left of Publix, it is the only remnant of this store's Albertsons days and certainly dates back further.  I do not know what it was used for when Kmart was here, but I do know Albertsons used it for their liquor store. I vividly remember wondering why they left the old Kmart / Albertsons liquor store behind when they tore down the rest of the building.  I guess liquor stores are one thing that Publix isn't super picky about!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

I didn't get a chance to take pictures inside the liquor store (I thought I would look really suspicious) but I have seen the inside before.  If I remember correctly, the cashier is located immediately to the left as you walk in, and there are two aisles that run in front of you to the back of the store.  In the back left corner is a small office, and the back right has an exit.  It seemed to be a fairly small store and I don't remember it having any refrigerators for cold beer.  I believe spirits were on the aisle to the left, and wine (if they had it) was on the aisle to the right.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Back outside the store, we can see the awning left behind by Albertsons and the corrugated concrete left behind by Kmart.  You can look at Andy Callahan's picture above and see that the awning still looks identical to the way it did in 2009, just with a new coat of paint.  We can also look a bit further and see the left entrance to Publix.  This store is so big that it has an entrance on either side and an exit vestibule in the middle.  We'll enter through the left, as I did on my third visit for this post.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

A look down the front of the store; we see the old Presto logo over the ATM and a long way to the other door.  Remember, the main store was torn down and built from the ground-up so nothing from Albertsons or Kmart remains.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Once inside, we are welcomed to our Publix in Evergreen style (No more green beans here!) and a fun CM 2 / 2.5 tile pattern. 

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

This entrance houses the deli to-go / seating area, Aprons Event Planning, and two express checkouts (hidden behind the Coke machine).  In my opinion, the Evergreen 'green' clashes with the lime tile on either side of the door.  I'm surprised Publix made such a shift in color palette, and it will be interesting to see how they treat these older stores with wild tile work. At least the Metallic Marketplace tile will fit right in again! (even though Publix desperately tried to cover it up with Sienna renovations like this).

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Turning around, we are put right in the middle of the bakery, with the deli to our right and the grand aisle in front of us.  At least the CM 2.5 bakery tile meshes a little bit better with Evergrey Evergreen.  It may just be me, but I think Publix could have been a little more creative with the minor signage (like café above) because even CM 1.0 had more pizzazz!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

On the other hand, the Evergreen department signage does look nice and clean.  Overall, I was surprised at how good this store looked with the new décor.  As AFB mentioned earlier posts, pictures do not do it justice.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Here we have a "grand overview" of the grand aisle.  The produce department in this store is really big and is accompanied by a specialty cheese station that is only found in the larger deluxe stores.

November 2021 Visit

With a big store comes a big bag of organic carrots.  My friend saw this and said I had to include it in the post!  At the time, I had no idea who would need 25 lbs. of carrots, but have since witnessed an entire carrot-themed purchase at a different Publix (which you can read about here).  They must either love making carrot juice or have several farm animals who like to snack! 

I also noticed that Publix seemed to remove the white-and-grey tiles on the brown wall by the bakery as part of the remodel.  I find this odd, especially since they seem to match Evergreen better than any other tiles in this store!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

Now we have our first glimpse at how the store looked prior to its Evergreen conversion.  We can see how much better the CM 2.5 tile work blends with Sienna and how much warmer the space feels.  While I wish I had taken more pictures during this trip to the store, a few are better than none!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Here is a mid-remodel view of the back of the produce department, looking toward wines and specialty cheeses.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

And the back of the produce department, looking toward wine, meats, and seafood — post remodel.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

This store's service produce section is on an island in the back of the department, just in front of meat and seafood.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Looking back toward the door we came in, we see a better view of the deli and a lonely Sienna aisle sign still "hanging around."

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

One last look at the bakery before we move on...

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

…but first, I need to mention the specialty cheese counter.  What shocked me about this remodel is how this department did not change at all. I don't think it looks bad with Evergreen, but it still is surprising to see metallic foil lettering and warm Earth-tones reminiscent of Sienna.  I'm not certain, but I believe the cheese counter looked largely the same in CM 2.5.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Next to the wine aisle, I spotted this small beer display that caught my eye.  Is it just me, or does the P sign look like it is homemade?  Maybe it is just really old? 

Publix pirvate-label hydrogen peroxide, ginger, and Italian seasoning from the 1990s featuring the ribbon logo

Now that I mention that, I remembered a picture of some old Publix private label items I found around my house.  I just love the Wavy Pastels font on that hydrogen peroxide!  

I remember going to the grand opening of a store in 2015 and seeing the old Publix ribbon logo on a card advertising balloons by the register.  I was so confused as to how those ended up there but now, I wish I had grabbed one.  It is crazy how some old stuff like that makes it into a new store, and I wouldn't be surprised if the sign on the beer was old — or if it was just homemade.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Back on the tour, we see the completed meat and seafood departments.  I feel like the design department did a good job with these signs; although they lack color, they still have visual interest with different textures and depth effects.  Notice how the Seafood sign is spaced in front of the wall versus the "Meats" being attached.  We also see AFB's "vertical blinds" stock photo on the left.  You can see some scarring on the floor from the original arrangement of the coffin coolers and how the refrigeration lines have yet to be covered up in the new configuration.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

I did think it was odd how the painters added the green stripe to the various pipes and refrigeration lines that were set off from the wall.  You can look at the pipes and see how sloppy the edges are for the green.  With the renovation looking complete, this seems like something that wouldn't be acceptable to the "classy" chain.  I think the store would have looked better if the pipes were all one color.

Publix #1498 Classy Market 1.0 Produce Sign - Thomasville, GA - Albertsons Florida Blog

I'm glad to see Publix has redesigned and replaced the small signs in this store (like the "only need a little?" sign) because I have seen a number of stores where these signs date back to Classy Market 1.0 or Metallic Marketplace.  I've even seen new-build stores from 2018 get a used-looking CM 1.0 sign with a revision date of 2005 (like the picture above).  Classy Market 1.0 & 1.5 may be dead, but their signs are oddly still floating around in fairly new stores.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Back behind us, we see a better view of the old coffin cooler configuration in the meat department.  I just realized that this cooler was moved between my visits in November and December, as it is now perpendicular to this layout.  Compare this picture with the overview of the department above.  Our odd little beer display can also be seen in this picture.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Another look at the old cooler arrangement and bulk foods.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Taking a look at the seafood counter, we see three flavors of class: Classy Market 2.0 / 2.5 tile, Sienna sushi signage, and Evergreen wall paint.  While I do like this tile pattern in the context of CM 2 / 3, it does not look good with Evergreen.  It will be interesting to see how many of these 2008-2014 era stores hold on to the seafood and the deli tile.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Classy Market 2.5 (Invigorate) Seafood Tile Pattern- Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

A different view of the seafood tile pattern.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

In November, I saw this section of wall that had not been painted yet next to the seafood department.  A little reminder of interiors past.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Turning toward the grocery department, we see the rear aisle of the store and can see the rare collision of Sienna aisle markers with Evergreen wall paint. 

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

I took this picture from aisle 13 to try and capture some of Publix's new stock photos.  I've since been to a new 48M store, and this collage was located over the beer coolers on aisle 15 (formerly where cheese and butter were in the 45M and 54M stores).  I really wonder if the "I 💚 Green" sign is a direct reference to the name "Evergreen" or if it is more general than that.  I'm sure it won't be long before employees on the Publix subreddit start ranting about the green referring to money, but I digress.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

After one last look at the back left of the store, we will head up front.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

We'll take a look down aisle 12 before we circle back to the deli.  This aisle is home to beer and snacks — how fun!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Here is a little before-and-after look at the deli

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

We can see some of the red and orange tile used in the hot section of the deli, in addition to the traditional yellow and green CM 2.5 tile.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Here is a better view of the full deli.  I'm surprised how few people are in the line for Pub-subs because I was struggling to get pictures everywhere else in this store on that day.  It was packed!  I even ran into somebody I know who lives 40+ miles away.  I'm glad I didn't get caught!  I hope they don't read this because they may-or-may-not be in my photoset. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

One last look at the produce department and this side of the store.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Based on the size of the rest of the store, the floral department wasn't very big.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

We'll take a final look at the deli before we jump into the grocery department.  To my left are the express checkouts and Instacart staging area.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

I was surprised that over my three trips in this store, none of my grocery aisle photos overlapped.  While we don't get any direct comparisons, I don't think any items were shuffled during the remodel.  Above, we see aisle 11 during the last months of Sienna.  This aisle is home to bread and candy (the diet of champions).


Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Jumping to aisle 9 (in a time warp) we see a picture that is uncharacteristic for the last few years: full shelves of paper towels!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Another surprise is a well-stocked cleaning aisle over on #8.

November 2021 Visit

Pet foods take up aisle 7.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Now this looks more familiar; a 2021 grocery store tour wouldn't be complete without some empty shelves.  It looks like the supply chain wizards decided sports drinks would be the shortage of the month.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

This view of the back of the store shows how the air ducts used to be painted a different color from the wall, which I think looks much better than what we see below.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Here is nearly the same view as above, only six months later.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

And a final look at the full Evergreen dairy section.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

Something that inspired me to initially take pictures of this store was the damaged dairy sign we see here.  It isn't often that I go to a Publix and see a sign that is marred like this one, so I wanted to take a picture of it.  This is also more evidence that all of the lettering is actually made of Styrofoam and not metal.  At least the Styrofoam in that sign was luckier than the cup I wrote about in this post.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

We now see what the Evergreen dairy department looks like with H&BA department peering out of the right edge.  No more dented sign here!  No more cream cheese, either, and that was one of the things on my grocery list for this trip. 

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

A look toward the front, right entrance of the store, looking over Health & Beauty aides and the pharmacy counter.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Here is the pharmacy and the greeting card section.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit
More of the personal care aisles.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Finally, we've made it back to the front of the store.  An interesting note about this group of aisles is they were originally home to Publix's dedicated GreenWise section.  I remember being amazed at how large this portion of the store was when it first opened back in 2010, but it makes sense for Publix to integrate these products with their non-organic counterparts throughout the store.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

I wish this picture was a bit clearer, but here is the right side of the store before the remodel had begun.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

And a mid-remodel shot, featuring the goat display for some pay-by-weight soap.  Other than this store, I have only seen it at GreenWise markets so it must be some sort of pilot program.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Finally, the fully Evergreen pharmacy counter.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

This side of the store is home to the customer service island and the entrance to the Aprons Cooking School. 

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

To my left, we have the new 3D Publix "P" over the lotto machines.  We also see more of the line-green CM 2.5 tile around the checkout lines.  No more Sienna apple here.  

It seems like older, pre-2017 Sienna remodels received the apple instead of the Publix "P."  My guess is the marketing department had not yet decided on a new logo, so they settled on the apple instead.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Turning 180°, we see the expanded kitchen utensil section this store has.  I wonder how many of those stand-up mixers they sell?

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Now, this is what made me realize this store was getting Evergreen-ed back in November.  While I was looking up at this wall, I noticed the sloppy paint job, which led me to notice the shade of green.  The rest is history.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

The stairwell to the Apron's cooking school is just to the right of the doors, where the mosaic tile meets the lime green.  I see another spot that needs some touch-up, too; look at the white part over the "sho" in shopping.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Here is the front end of the store, featuring all 15 aisles.  It still shocks me how this store feels so big, yet tops out at 15 numbered aisles, especially when the store it replaced had 16!

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Publix redesigned the checkout light cubes for later Sienna installs but it appears they have refreshed them again for Evergreen.  The late-CM 3.0 cubes have a squircle with phrases like "Checkout to Smile About" while these have green on an entire face of the cube, in addition to a new look for the express cubes.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit
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Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Here are the checkout lanes.  This store double-stacks them, for a grand total of 11 manned checkouts.  Two standard lanes were removed to add a row of self-checkouts during the remodel.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
November 2021 Visit

Interestingly, Publix swapped out the checkout fixtures in the shot above but kept the old cube lights around for a few more months.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

Another angle of lanes 1 - 3 and 7 - 9.  The checkout lights changed the direction the numbers face when the cubes were swapped out.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Sierra Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
May 2021 Visit

Finally, we have a look back at the checkout lanes in May.  I noticed that Publix swapped out the candy racks and conveyor belts between May and November; you can see the old ones here.  You can also see a sign for the Aprons Cooking School off in the distance.

Publix #1306 (Village Square) Evergreen Interior - Tallahassee, FL - Albertsons Florida Blog
December 2021 Visit

As I was checking out during my November trip, I asked the cashier when the store started its remodel.  She said crews began work back in August over in the deli department.  Hoping to snag one, I also asked what happened to all of the old signs, and she said they would probably be in the dumpster out back if it had not already been hauled off.  Unfortunately, there was no signs from Classy Market 3.0 behind the store; I still have my hopes up that I can catch another store earlier in the remodel stages.  I think it would be funny to have a collection of the Sienna motifs on a wall and see if anybody recognized them. :P  Maybe one day!

November 2021 Visit

To close out our tour, I wanted to include the Aprons catering van out in the parking lot.

December 2021 Visit

There is a chance Publix used the same sign posts left by Albertsons, albeit, a very slim chance.  Regardless, the main road sign looks much different than it did in 2009. 

Wow, that was a lot!  If I haven't bored you to death with pictures and history, here are some satellite images of the area.

Aerial Views

Albertsons #4428 from the West - Leon County Property Appraiser - January 2007

We'll start with a look at Albertsons #4428 back in 2007.  You can get a clear view of the former Kmart auto and garden centers on the right of the store.

Albertsons #4428 from the South - Leon County Property Appraiser - January 2007

Here is a better view of the Books-A-Million store.

Albertsons #4428 from the East - Leon County Property Appraiser - January 2007

And a view of the back of the stores.

Albertsons #4428 from the North - Leon County Property Appraiser - January 2007

Future K-mart Plaza and Killearn Shopping Center - Tallahassee - Leon County GIS - 1970

 The intersection of Capital Circle and Thomasville Road sure looked a lot different!

K-Mart Plaza - Tallahassee - Leon County GIS - 1990

Village Square (Albertsons #4428) - Google Earth - November 1999

Next up, let's look at Publix #225 and CVS #3910 in 2007:

Publix #225 from the West - Leon County Property Appraiser - January 2007

You can see where Publix expanded the building during the 1991 remodel by looking at the line on the roof on the left side of the store.

Killearn Shopping Center (Publix #225) - Tallahassee - Leon County GIS - 1990

Killearn Shopping Center (Publix #225) - Google Earth - November 1999

Village Square (Publix #1306) & Killearn Shopping Center - Google Earth - April 2021

That will conclude my coverage of this fascinating thoroughfare in North Tallahassee.  If you liked this post, be sure to check out my blog for other content!  Also, I recently covered a really cool former Publix which still retains most of its Wavy Pastels décor elements.  Be sure to check it out if you haven't already!

Until next time,

- The Sing Oil Blogger

This has been a feature post from my series Sing Oil Blog: More Than Convenience, in conjunction with my post on Tallahassee #17.  To check out my other posts from this series or to learn more, click on the logo above.