The Sawmill Road Kroger Co. store in Dublin hopes to add space to compete with Walmart and Target stores that are planned north of Hard Road.

The Sawmill Road Kroger Co. store in Dublin hopes to add space to compete with Walmart and Target stores that are planned north of Hard Road.

Dublin City Council members last week heard the first reading of a rezoning request that would give the Kroger Marketplace at 7626 Sawmill Road an additional 500 square feet of retail at the front of the store and about 6,000 square feet of office and storage in the back of the building.

The store currently does not have enough storage and uses panel trucks to supply items that can't be included in regular deliveries, said Ben Hale, the attorney representing Kroger.

"It's very inefficient and very costly for them," Hale said of the extra deliveries.

The 500-square-foot addition at the front of the store would become a coffee shop, with some outdoor seating, Hale said.

The store also is planning some upgrades.

"With a Super Walmart going in across the street and a Target up the street, in terms of getting the interior of the store remodeled, their hair is on fire," Hale said of the rush to get the work done.

"They feel a real need to get this done. They can't compete on a purely dollar basis. They want to provide what the customers need."

Councilman Tim Lecklider expressed concern over expanding the square footage of the Kroger Marketplace strip center, but Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher pointed out Sawmill Road has changed since the building was constructed.

"A lot has changed on Sawmill and with big box (stores) prohibited in Dublin, we need to be cautious and smart about the expansion we permit," she said, adding the city also needs to permit some things to keep the businesses they have.

Council members are expected to vote on the rezoning at their Feb. 10 meeting.

As part of work on Sawmill Road north of Interstate 270, Dublin will pay the Ohio Department of Transportation to resurface road within the city between I-270 and Billingsley Road. Council last week approved the Sawmill Road resurfacing that will cost the city $49,330.

City Engineer Paul Hammersmith said Sawmill Road will be resurfaced while ODOT constructs an additional northbound lane on Sawmill Road from I-270 as part of the Clear the Ramp project.

Columbus will also pay ODOT for resurfacing of Sawmill Road within the city of Columbus, Hammersmith said.

Construction on the additional northbound lane and resurfacing is expected to begin in September, with completion anticipated in June 2015.

Bike path

Council members also last week approved land acquisition for the Dublin Road South bike path.

Senior Project Manager Sara Ott said the city will be acquiring property from several residents for the final leg of the bike trail on Dublin Road South, a project that began with the construction of trail from Tuttle Crossing Boulevard.

"We've been working our way north the last two years," Ott said, noting that the city will work with 18 property owners to construct the final 3,500 linear feet of multi-use trail. "It's one of the longest bike path sections to implement at one time."

A limestone wall that runs along the road will have to be moved along with the relocation of 21 utility poles, Ott said.

The trail also will include two pedestrian bridges and a culvert crossing.