‘No exact timeline’ for Publix store in southeast Atlanta to reopen after parking deck collapse

ATLANTA — Publix and city leaders are reacting after a parking deck collapsed and shut down a grocery store.

A Publix ‘closed’ sign is a concrete reminder to people living in the Summerville neighborhood off Hank Aaron Road, that their neighborhood grocery store is closed.

“It’s a massive pain,” said Victor Bolet.

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Bolet lives near the Publix and normally shops at least once a week, but his weekly ritual is now put on hold. That’s because of a giant hole in the Publix grocery parking deck.

News Drone 2 flew over the parking deck over the weekend and again on Monday. There is a large crane at the bottom of that hole.

Atlanta Fire officials told Channel 2 Action News the crane fell through the first floor of the parking deck around 7 a.m. Saturday. It appears the truck was too heavy for the parking deck.

Now, the store is closed until further notice.

Neighbors told Channel 2′s Larry Spruill that this is an issue because this is their only grocery store in the area and now they don’t have access to fresh food.

“I’ve been in this area since 1999 and it’s been a food desert for forever. We finally got this Publix and it’s been such a boom to the neighborhood and now it’s closed down,” said Bolet.

Noah Nelson lives across the street. He said this is a huge inconvenience.

“It’s the only grocery store we have around here and it’s in walking distance. The next one would be the Walmart that was just shut down on MLK. So it’s very hard to find groceries now,” said Nelson

On Monday, Mayor Andre Dickens issued the following statement:

“Our Administration is concerned about the impact this incident will have on the safety and access to food and pharmacy services in this community. Assessments and inspections by multiple parties are underway with more to come over the coming days. While there is no exact timeline for full resolution, I have been told several options for full or partial re-opening of the store and parking garage are under review by the companies involved and relevant government agencies. Again, our Administration takes this matter very seriously and the City will provide more updates as they become available.”


Publix issued the following statement:

“Saturday morning a portion of the parking garage for the Publix at Summerhill collapsed. We are cooperating with local law enforcement and city officials on this open investigation. The safety of our associates and customers is a top priority for Publix, so at this time, our store will remain closed.”

The property owner, Branch Properties, also released a statement:

“We are aware of this situation and currently working with appropriate authorities as they investigate the incident. Authorities were immediately notified at the time of the incident. As of now, it appears that an unauthorized person unaffiliated with ownership drove a crane truck onto the upper level of the deck past the weight-limit warning signs. The parking deck was constructed to the highest levels of safety, and repairs will begin soon so as not to disrupt shoppers further.”

District 1 Council member Jason Winston released the following statement addressing a crane truck collapsing through a parking garage at Publix at Summerhill:

“The recent incident at the new Summerhill Publix understandably alarmed our community. This location has quickly become an important resource for the surrounding neighborhoods, especially since it was without a nearby grocery store for so long. I’ve been in contact with Branch Properties and our City officials to ensure a coordinated approach takes place to address this with safety as a top priority.”

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Larry Spruill

Larry Spruill, WSB-TV

Larry Spruill Jr. has been part of the WSB-TV family since March 2022. He is an Emmy Nominated Journalist with over 12 years of news and storytelling experience.