After nearly a decade of waiting, the new Publix in Tampa's Channel District opens Thursday morning.
"Love Publix, so just looking forward to it,” neighbor Julius Kinkle said.
Kinkle also says he loves that the new Publix in Channelside is near his home.
"Convenient, convenient. I mean, I hardly drive anywhere anymore, so just use my walking legs and this just gives me another excuse to use them," Kinkle said.
Kinkle said walking—or running—in that area was different when he moved there six years ago.
"There was nothing really going on, so it's changed a lot," Kinkle said.
A lot of it now is housing.
According to a spokesperson with the city, more than 5,500 housing units have been built downtown and in the surrounding areas since 2010 with about 7,000 more in the works.
"Usually grocers don't come in on a market that don't know that they're going to be successful in," Ashly Anderson, with Tampa Downtown Partnership, said.
She meant a large grocery store, like Publix, makes sure there are enough people in the area to shop.
"So, I think this is a true marker of downtown Tampa's true booming success," Anderson said.
According to Publix spokesperson Brian West, there would also be a GreenWise opening near Amalie Arena in 2021.