Business Journal: Approval for downtown Publix

Posted at 10:02 AM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 10:02:53-05

In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses the business at Tampa International Airport that went from bankruptcy to hiring, the crucial step forward in bringing a Publix to the Channel District, and the business kicking off Hyde Park Village's new pop-up series.


Many are hailing the Pastor Lopez, the CEO of Pemco World Air Services, for turning around the airplane maintenance company. Lopez took over Pemco in 2014, two years after the business filed for bankruptcy.

Pemco lost about 35 percent of its 900 employees in its Tampa and Dothan, Alabama, operations during the bankruptcy.

Pemco, which does airplane maintenance and conversion at Tampa International Airport, went through management changes during its tough times. When Lopez came on board he took a close look at simple modifications he could implement that would immediately benefit his employees.

"Like the fan in the ceiling, to install more fans to make it cooler," says Muellner. "To look at the fabric the workers were wearing because it was a lot more comfortable."

Alexis says this shows the importance of having managers who are willing to listen to employees to get simple suggestions. He adds, employees want to have a say in their future, no matter how small it is.

Thanks to the changes, Pemco is thriving and building employee loyalty. It is currently in the midst of a hiring spree. The company lists 175 openings on its website.


The long-awaited Publix for Tampa's Channel District is one step closer to becoming a reality.

This week, Mercury Advisors, the developer of the property where the grocery store will be located, received preliminary approval from the City of Tampa for its plans.

The Channel Club, between Madison and Twiggs streets, will have both the Publix and a 21-story, 323-unit apartment tower. The store could help spur even more development in Tampa downtown.

"Publix is often seen as the bellwether for retail validity, meaning that if a Publix can go somewhere then there is enough business there to support other retailers," said Mueller.

Mercury is planning to break ground first on the apartment building, and then begin construction on the Publix. The project is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2017.


Tampa's Hyde Park Village is kickoff a new shopping experience just in time for Valentine's Day.

The shopping district is adding a series of monthly pop-up shops called "The Fling." The first retailer to take advantage is Florist Fire, a Seminole Heights florist.

The store will be open through Sunday between Color Me Mine and Carlton Ward Photography on West Snow Circle.

The Fling is one of the ways Hyde Park Village's new ownership is trying to entice people to visit to support the area's existing retailers.

"I like this kind of concept," said Muellner. "It's short-lived, it's temporary, but it’s innovation and we like to point that out."


For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands or online.