A chain-link fence with a “privacy curtain” went up around the planned site for a Islamorada Publix store last week. The fence surrounds property from the now-closed Fish Bowl bowling alley near mile marker 83.3 and runs south to take in the former Coral Grill building and the old offices of Coral Reef Title Co. on the bayside of U.S. 1. No construction has started and it appears uncertain when that could occur.
Village of Islamorada staff reportedly has not yet issued any permits for demolition of existing buildings. A site plan for new construction has not been approved by Islamorada’s land-planning board or the village council.
More details on the current status of the project were not available at press time Tuesday. An earlier plan suggested a supermarket and additional retail store totaling 34,062 square feet, with 161 parking spaces. A lawsuit filed in early 2014 seeks to block the store and remains unsettled.
Several opposition homeowners, the Bay Hammock Homeowners Association and a group called Keep Islamorada Peaceful Prosperous and Safe contends a new, large store could harm Islamorada’s character. Other residents have welcomed the prospect of a new grocery store.