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Publix readies major expansion of its grocery store in Forest Acres shopping center

Publix at Trenholm Plaza

Publix will expand its space at Trenholm Plaza to take two adjacent retail spaces, including the Ivy & Leo boutique. Mike Fitts/The Post and Courier

FOREST ACRES — Publix will expand its grocery store in Forest Acres, prompting an adjoining boutique to shift spaces in the popular retail center.

It's the latest in a series of changes at the center, where Sephora and HomeGoods have recently opened locations, with Bath & Body Works expected to open in early 2023. 

The move also comes as more grocery competition could come to the area: The recently announced plans to revamp nearby Richland Mall include space for an unnamed grocery store as one of its new anchor tenants. 

The Publix store will expand to absorb the space currently occupied by the Ivy & Leo women's clothing boutique, according to a statement from Edens, the Columbia-born real estate firm that manages Trenholm Plaza.

The store will remain open during the work, which should be complete in late 2023, the company said. 

Ivy & Leo already has begun a sale to clear inventory before it relocates to a nearby open space in the center, formerly home to the Simply Mac computer store.

The grocer also will occupy vacant space at the often-crowded retail center that formerly was home to clothier J. Crew, according to Edens.

The change will add about 10,000 square feet to Publix, bringing it to more than 48,000 square feet.

That will make the Trenholm Plaza location about the same size as the grocer's big stores on Hard Scrabble Road in the Northeast and on Harbison Boulevard. 

Publix said it welcomes the added space but does not have specific new features coming to the store that it can announce.

“A larger store will allow us to best meet the needs of our customers and community with expanded services and quality foods," said Publix media relations manager Jared Glover. 

With the expansion, Trenholm Plaza will return to almost full occupancy after the 2020 closures of both Stein Mart and J. Crew left sizable vacancies in the popular retail center.

"Edens is proud to steward this beloved retail center in our hometown of Columbia, S.C., and is excited to continue to work alongside Publix and our retail partners to offer this community the very best retail offerings and experiences," the company said in a statement.

Publix has other growth plans in Columbia as well. In August, it announced plans for a new grocery store in the Northeast Richland area.

Publix currently has nine stores in the Columbia market. 

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Follow Mike Fitts on Twitter at twitter.com/mikefittsat140. Write to him at mfitts@postandcourier.com

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