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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Supermarkets here is reportedly suing BJ's Wholesale Club and two shopping center owners claming that it has exclusivity to a Port St. Lucie, Fla. retail property where BJ's plans to build.
According to a report in the Fort Pierce Tribune, BJ's plans to open a new store in St. Lucie West, a shopping center adjacent to the Publix plaza. Both shopping centers are owned by Menin Development.
Publix is suing BJ's and the Menin-related companies that own the property -- MDC Shoppes II and Shoppes at St. Lucie West, according to the report. Publix maintains that a clause in the original lease gives it the "exclusive right" to operate a grocery store.
The developer has filed a countersuit, however, arguing that the restriction protected the original property owner, not Publix. Additionally, the developer claims that the restriction cannot apply, because it says BJ's is not a grocery store.