Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith, right, and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announce the Publix supermarket coming to Summerhill.

On May 20, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined City Councilwoman Carla Smith, the president and CEO of Carter development firm Scott Taylor, representatives from Summerhill, and from Publix to announce the arrival of a new 50,000-square-foot Publix store coming to Hank Aaron Drive.

From the outside looking in, it may seem strange for a Publix opening announcement to warrant a personal visit by the Mayor. But Bottoms has played a key role in fostering the deal, and in revitalizing Summerhill. Smith even joked about how hard Bottoms worked in preventing one company from flooding the neighborhood and turning it into a waterpark.

“When we embarked upon the transformation of Turner Field, the consistent plea from the community was access to fresh and healthy food options. With this grocery store, a food desert in the heart of our city has been removed,” Mayor Bottoms said to a gathering of reporters, photographers, and vendors from nearby businesses including Junior’s Pizza, The Little Tart Bakeshop, Wood’s Chapel BBQ, Maepole, and more.

Carter currently has under construction mixed-use, office, multifamily, and educational projects totaling more than $315 million in Atlanta’s Southside at Summerhill, MET Atlanta, and the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Development along Georgia Ave. was the first phase of Carter’s plan to revitalize Summerhill. More restaurants, retailers, and service providers including banks, healthcare, fitness studios, pet supply stores, and more will join the 80-acre mixed use development that’s coming to the Southside neighborhood—one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods, which has been steeped in blight and crime for decades.

Construction on the new Publix is expected to begin later this year.

Chad Radford

Chad Radford is the editor of Rough Draft and an Atlanta-based music writer, editor, and nature lover.