Businesses await Publix rebuild plans in Lake Wylie

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comFebruary 4, 2014 

— Business owners in what was the Bi-Lo shopping center at Three Points want to know whether they’ll have a home when Publix enters the market.

They’re going to have to wait a while longer to find out.

“Everything is on hold until we hear something,” said Richard Winter, owner of Aim Mail Centers. “I’d like to be here when Publix comes in.”

In October, Publix announced it would build a new store at 158 Highway 274 at the location of the former Bi-Lo building, part of a Publix plan for 11 stores in the Charlotte market by the end of 2015.

Publix plans to remodel the former Steele Creek Bi-Lo across from RiverGate, opening it late this year. The Lake Wylie rebuild should be open late next year.

“Nothing has changed,” Publix spokeswoman Kimberly Reynolds said last week. “We are building our (Lake Wylie) store onsite and it is still slated to open late 2015.”

It is not clear if or how a rebuild would affect existing businesses in the shopping center.

“The site plan is not finalized, and therefore I don’t have any additional information to share at this time,” Reynolds said.

An agent answering the phone at Rivercrest Realty Investors, the management company for private investors who own the property, did not want to comment.

Beth Barnes, associate agent with the Nationwide Insurance Scott Segars Agency in the shopping center, said she’s heard the entire center won’t be torn down and that Publix will expand out the back of the Bi-Lo building. But she’s also heard rumors of other plans.

“We hear a lot of different things, and we can only go on what we’re told,” Barnes said.

Winter said he had plans for his business but isn’t making any improvements until he has something official as to what will happen with the center. Business has “definitely slowed down” since Bi-Lo left, Winter said, and he would like to be around when Publix comes.

“Our leasing agent tells us there’s nothing to worry about,” Winter said.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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