Here's what I do know.
I prefer to get my information directly from the company so I contacted the Pubix real estate department last year and again recently. My emails were returned via phone call both times by Nancy who was very polite and left me very informative messages since I missed her calls.
June 2010 (from memory): We are aware of your area but we have no plans to come to that area now or in the foreseeable future. We prefer to build our own stand-alone buildings and at this time have no intentions of taking over the space to which you are referring.
April 2011 (verbatim): Hi Staci, this is Nancy calling from Publix Supermarkets here in Lakeland, Florida. I received your email in regards to the Donelson area. We do not have any final plans right now, possibly in the future, but I think it will happen but there is nothing finalized at this point. We are a little bit further than the last time I called. We will just have to wait and see if we can get any plans finalized. Hopefully in the future we can hope to serve you in the future in the area. Just wanted to give you a call back. Thank You. Bye bye.
What does this mean?
Honestly I do think we will see a Publix in Donelson but I think it's going to take some time. My understanding is that Harbor Freight and Dick's Flowers are both moving, which would vacate that entire wing of the shopping center. If Publix does come to the area, it remains to be seen whether or not they will renovate the available space or knock it down and start over. Me and the hubs actually have a friendly wager placed on this small detail. He says bulldozers are coming. :)
At this point, nothing is official. If you have received other information, feel free to comment on this post. However, I can neither confirm or deny the validity of any rumors going around. What I know is posted above.
Trust me, I want a Publix in Donelson about as bad as anybody else. Maybe even more. As Nancy said, we're just gonna have to wait this one out and see.
Updated 05/06/11: Today I got a tip to check the Metro Planning Council Website. They are showing this project with final approval to overtake the current space with some sign, parking lot, and sidewalk modifications. You can view the layout map here. Details can be found in this document. This is good news. Good news indeed!