Publix pays $57 million for West Palm Beach mall

Todd Jones of Publix with 6714-6868 Forest Hill Boulevard (Loopnet, iStock)

Publix bolstered its commercial real estate holdings in South Florida with the $56.5 million acquisition of a West Palm Beach mall anchored by one of its stores.

The Lakeland-based grocery chain, led by CEO Todd Jones, has purchased River Bridge Center, a 229,781-square-foot mall and nine outdoor lots at 6714-6868 Forest Hill Boulevard, according to a news release.

A JLL team led by Danny Finkle and Eric Williams represented the River Bridge Center vendor.

New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management sold the 28.4-acre property for $22 million above its previous purchase price three years ago. In 2019, an Apollo subsidiary paid $34.5 million for the mall, which was completed in 1987, records show.

Renovated in 2005, River Bridge Center is anchored by a Publix grocery store and is 86.3% occupied, the statement said. Other tenants include Ross Dress for Less, Crunch Fitness, Five Below, Ace Hardware and Pizza Hut.

For over a year, Publix has been on the hunt for commercial properties in South Florida anchored in grocery stores. Last month, Publix paid $12.8 million for a waterfront development site in Hollywood where it plans to build a new store. In 2020, the Hollywood City Commission approved the construction of an approximately 30,000 square foot Publix and a boat dock on the 1.1 acre site.

In July, Publix acquired a 20-acre site in Westlake, a planned community in Palm Beach County, for $9.1 million. The grocery chain has received city approval to develop a 140,000 square foot outdoor mall anchored by a 50,000 square foot Publix grocery store and liquor store. The project is being developed in two phases.

Also last year, Publix paid $10 million for 1.4 acres in Fort Lauderdale Beach, where the company is building a 29,000 square foot store with rooftop parking.

Edwin S. Wolfe