TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Students at the University of South Florida in Tampa will soon be able to buy groceries without even leaving campus.
On Thursday, the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of Florida, approved plans for Publix Super Markets to build a 29,000-square-foot store on the USF campus in Tampa.
The project is the first on-campus location in Florida for Publix and will be part of a public-private partnership geared at enhancing a “living-learning community” that will be built on the north side of campus.
It’s also a first-of-its-kind across the country, the grocery store will be the first Publix location that will be fully integrated into a student housing village on a college campus.
USF’s agreement with Publix includes a 21-year ground lease with six five-year term extensions for a store to be built at the southeast corner of Fletcher Avenue and North Palm Drive, which is currently unused land.
The site will be an integral part of USF’s new Student Housing Village. Construction of the village is expected to begin later this year.
“The entire campus community is thrilled and excited to welcome Publix – one of Florida’s most respected companies – to our campus,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.
“Our students’ top request was to bring a grocery store to campus so that we could create a healthy living and learning environment that fully supports them in their goals and ambitions. This Publix location will bring a great dimension to our new student village and create a vibrant and welcoming environment on the Tampa campus.”
Upon completion of the village, more than 10,000 student beds will be located within walking distance of the grocery store or easily reached via campus shuttle.
The on-campus grocery store will also provide part-time employment opportunities for students. Publix has agreed to conduct at least two job fairs per year on the USF campus and will consider qualified students who apply for available employment and/or internships.
“We are excited to be joining the USF family in their new student village,” said Maria Brous, Publix Director of Media and Community Relations.
“As strong supporters of the University and student life, we are looking forward to extending our partnership and bringing our in-store experience on campus.”
It’s anticipated construction on the grocery store could be complete by late 2017.