Publix grocery store coming to Johnson City’s old Food City building

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – A Publix Super Markets store will soon locate in Johnson City.

According to a news release from Publix Super Markets, the grocery store chain has signed a lease and will soon be located on the northwest corner at Market Street and State of Franklin Road in the old Food City store.

Last year, Food City moved from that location to a new area further down State of Franklin Road.

News Channel 11’s Justin Soto spoke with a restaurant owner in the shopping center who says sales have gone down since Food City left and he’s excited about a new supermarket.

“That’s like a dream come true,” owner of Yamato Japanese Steakhouse, Siu Lam said.

Lam has owned Yamato for nearly 20 years and he said he still loyal customers but sales have dropped 15 to 20% since Food City left the shopping center around two years ago. He’s hoping that Publix will help “bring the whole parking center to come alive,” Lam said.

The store will reportedly employ around 140 associates and will be around 45,000 square feet.

Mayor David Tomita said he’s excited for the new retailer, “it’s not just a supermarket it’s a good supermarket and hopefully that’ll attract people from outside of Johnson City to come shopping here, spend their money and that helps our sales tax collections,” Tomita said.

Johnson City Michael Gilly said he’s also thrilled about the new Publix since he use to live in a Georgia town with a Publix.

“I love Pal’s, I love Publix and to have both in the same place just makes me so excited,” Gilly said.

A projected opening date for the Johnson City Publix store has not yet been set.

Meanwhile, a new Publix supermarket is opening in Greeneville, TN on Saturday, May 13 at the Fairgrounds Plaza located on 2315 East Andrew Johnson Highway.

That store is also expected to generate 130 to 150 jobs with “competitive salaries”, according to a Publix spokesperson. For more information about the Greeneville store, click here. Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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