Bluffton residents desperate for a nearby grocery store are about to get their wish

Publix is opening a third Bluffton-area location in an area that has long waited for more convenient shopping.

The 70,200 square-foot shopping center’s development was officially announced late Wednesday by Halvorsen Holdings — a Florida-based real estate developer — for May River Crossing, according to a news release from the developer.

The grocery store will mainly serve the New Riverside and Palmetto Bluff communities and will be located on the northeast corner of S.C. 170 and May River Road adjacent to land with a proposed mixed-use development to include office and retail space.

“Located in a high-end residential and visitor area, the accessibility to this center is great and, in fact, a high priority for Publix,” Tim Berg, president of Halvorsen Real Estate Corporation, said.

A new Publix is in the works for Bluffton’s May River Crossing. The new store will be anchored by small businesses and offer a drive-thru pharmacy. Halvorsen Holdings

The 15-acre site will include the 48,000 square-foot Publix complete with a drive-through pharmacy and 21,845 square feet of available small shop space intended for restaurants, upscale service industries and fitness centers, according to the release.

Other stores that have already signed on within the Publix shopping center include a nail salon, national hair salon and a national cell phone provider, according to the release. Details of exactly who those retailers are have not yet been announced.

Negotiations are also ongoing with multiple restaurants, a regional liquor store, veterinary office and national mattress store, the release said.

Three of four outparcels remain available for lease or sale. The fourth is under contract with a national dentistry chain.

Each of the buildings in the shopping center is expected to have outdoor eating areas or patios with green space.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 with completion sometime early in 2021, Berg said Thursday.