Site plans for a Publix store in the Foothills Mall footprint have been submitted to Maryville’s planning department for review, indicating the long-awaited grocery outlet may actually happen, even after nearly a year of legal wrangling.
Though the site plans do not blatantly say “Publix” on them, they do show a grocery store planned for Foothills Mall, part of it where the former Sears building stands today.
That’s exactly where Knoxville-based developer CHM proposed it would build a Publix in 2020.
CHM — specifically CHM Foothills 7 — is still the company proposed to develop the store and is listed on the first page of the site plans.
“(CHM) is putting itself in a position so that if and when everything is finalized we will be able to move quickly,” firm principal Jim Harrison said through a spokesman June 9 when asked about the site plans.
Publix Media Relations Manager Jared Glover expressed enthusiasm on behalf of Publix on June 9.
“We look forward to bringing our premier customer service and quality to Maryville and are delighted to soon be a neighbor in this wonderful community,” Glover emailed.
City of Maryville planning officials did not want to comment on the site plan’s connection to Publix, if any.
“There is no name associated with the grocery store,” Public Works Director Angie Luckie emailed June 9.
Neither CHM nor Publix are listed on the June 21 agenda for the Maryville Municipal Planning Commission meeting.
Since July 2020, when CHM announced it would build near the east end of Foothills Mall, the developer and Publix became involved in a lawsuit that stopped the project in its tracks, with mall landowners Brooklyn, New York-based Time Equities and others accusing CHM of essentially jumping the gun.
Then and in documents since the suit was first filed in August 2020, CHM, Publix and Time Equities’ legal representation have exchanged disagreements in the Blount County Circuit Court.
These included but were not limited to disputes over whether or not legal documents allowed CHM to tear down the old Sears building to make way for the new Publix.
However, individuals close to the project say those parties may be nearing an agreement.
The recently submitted site plans show a 48,387-square-foot grocery store separated by a small lot from the main mall building.
They also show new parking lots and trees going in the acreage surrounding the proposed building.
It would be just north of the roundabout on Mall Road.