Second-phase plans for the massive Interlock project between Howell Mill Road and Northside Drive are coming into focus, and a new mainstream grocery option will officially be part of the mix.

Developer S.J. Collins Enterprises announced today that Publix Super Markets will open a 42,500-square-foot location within The Interlock’s second phase facing Northside Drive, at the doorstep of Georgia Tech.

For now, the site houses a row of low-rise buildings that used to be auto shops, a home-cooking restaurant, and an antique store. Demolition is scheduled to begin next month, with vertical construction starting in fall 2022, according to S.J. Collins reps.

Publix has operated an Atlantic Station grocery store since 2005 about a mile away.

But the more immediate area has seen explosive growth and a population surge that’s rendered it unrecognizable from a few years ago.

A phase-two elevation showing Publix's storefront at Northside Drive and Ethel Street. Courtesy of S.J. Collins Enterprises

By S.J. Collins’ count, since 2014 roughly 9,000 residential units have opened or are in the pipeline in surrounding blocks—alongside almost 1 million square feet of office space that’s coming in four mixed-use projects.

“This means that not only is there tremendous demand for restaurants and retail here, but day-to-day amenities such as banks, dry cleaners, and certainly a mainstream grocer,” Justin Latone, S.J. Collins’ senior vice president of leasing, said in an announcement today.

“Residents have been asking for more dining and a grocery store in all of our community meetings for years,” added Jeff Garrison, a development partner.

All told, The Interlock will cover almost 14 acres in West Midtown.

How Interlock's phase two will replace a block's worth of low-rise buildings fronting Northside Drive. Courtesy of S.J. Collins Enterprises

The second phase, spanning 4 and ½ acres along Northside Drive, will also include Georgia Tech student housing, another 186,000 square feet of offices (more than twice the space of phase one), and 40,000 square feet of retail, developers said today. Dynamik Design architects are drawing up the blueprints.

Meanwhile, at the 9-acre phase one on Howell Mill Road, first-to-market Puttshack is expected to open next week, offering mini golf in a nightclub setting.

That’ll be followed in May by Bellyard, a 161-room Tribute Portfolio Hotel.

Also in the works for phase one (deep breath) are Saint Germain French Bakery, Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches, Velvet Taco, Holiday Bar, TruFusion Fitness, and a 1-acre public rooftop playspace called Interlock Highline Park, with a two-story restaurant space and private, infinity-edge pool and lounge.

watermark The Interlock's existing street frontage on Howell Mill Road. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Elsewhere, 349-unit Solis Interlock Apartments, 18 townhomes, and 70 single-family homes are coming together.

The Interlock will also house a 50,000-square-foot Georgia Technology Ventures incubator space and WeWork’s 40,000-square-foot coworking digs.

The two phases, as developers point out, will be connected by a 1-acre public park.

• Before/after: The remarkable transformation of Atlanta's Howell Mill corridor (Urbanize Atlanta)