On-campus Publix approved by BOG

Plans to bring a Publix location to USF’s Tampa campus were officially approved by the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) on Thursday.

The grocery store is part of the new student-housing village, which will replace the current Andros complex. The new complex is projected to house about 2,000 students, raising housing on campus to about 6,500 students, according to USF Media and Public Affairs Manager Adam Freeman. The BOG approved the housing project in November of 2015.

According to a press release from USF, the 29,000-square-foot Publix is the first on-campus location for the chain. The ground lease with the university is set for 21 years with six potential five-year term extensions.

Freeman said Publix will be charged $130,000 annually in rent, which will increase by 10 percent every five years. The grocery store will be located at the corner of Fletcher Avenue and North Palm Drive.

“The entire campus community is thrilled and excited to welcome Publix — one of Florida’s most respected companies — to our campus,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft in a press release. 

“Our students’ top request was to bring a grocery store to campus so that we could create a healthy living and learning environment that fully supports them in their goals and ambitions.  This Publix location will bring a great dimension to our new student village and create a vibrant and welcoming environment on the Tampa campus.”

Publix Director of Media and Community Relations Maria Brous said in a press release that the grocery store is also excited about the new partnership.

“As strong supporters of the university and student life, we are looking forward to extending our partnership and bringing our in-store experience on campus,” she said in the release. 

Publix also said it would host two job fairs each year, offering part-time employment for students and internship opportunities.

According to Freeman, the housing complex will be constructed in two phases, the first of which is scheduled to begin May of 2016 with the project’s overall completion set for June of 2018. The Publix is scheduled for completion in late 2017, and construction could begin as early as next month, Freeman said.