Publix comes to campus

Construction of an on-campus Publix near Andros could begin as early as May 2016, when Andros is set to be rebuilt as the Andros Village, complete by June 2019. Oracle PHOTO/Roberto Roldan

Andros Village, the new housing development scheduled to replace the residence halls in Andros I and II, may have a very unique addition to boast.

During Tuesday’s USF Board of Trustee’s Finance & Audit workgroup meeting, a plan to bring a Publix supermarket to campus was unanimously approved. The proposed site would be on the corner of Fletcher and North Palm Drive, where there is currently a parking lot.

As early as December, there were rumors of the facility, which is now confirmed at 28,000 square feet and include “appropriate parking, lighting, security and site infrastructure,” according to an agenda document from Tuesday’s Workgroup meeting. 

The store would be on the smaller scale, as the normal sites are around 45,000 square feet. At other locations of similar size, the supermarket chain employs roughly 130 full- or part-time employees who receive stock options, quarterly bonuses and tuition reimbursement of up to $3,200 a year for select courses, according to Publix’s website.

Andros Village is slated to begin construction in May 2016 and be completed June 2019. 

“We are excited about the potential partnership with USF. Both parties are in the process of the due diligence period,” Publix Media & Community Relations Manager Brian West said in an email to The Oracle. “At this time, there are no additional details to share.”

The Publix location would be among the first on a university campus, and some students think it would make the area more appealing.

Hussain Hemani, a freshman majoring in health sciences, said his room in Delta Hall is “decent,” but he wants to move off campus for his sophomore year. However, he said he liked the possibility of an on-campus Publix.

“I wouldn’t say I would stay, but it would make me reconsider,” he said.

Likewise, Arusa Rahim, a freshman majoring in economics, said a Publix on campus would be very helpful. She said getting to the grocery store as an international student without a car is difficult and inconvenient.

The facility would sit on up to three acres of land, and the company has agreed to hold at least two on-campus job fairs each year, according to the workgroup document.

Publix will also pay USF $130,000 per year to rent the land, which will leave USF with no financial obligation, according to the agreement. The contract is for a 20-year stay on campus with six potential five-year renewals that could increase its term to a total of 50 years.