Now that Kroger executives have shown confidence in the Northland area to the tune of a potential $20-million investment, it's time to make the grocery chain giant aware of what the community would like to see in a new store.
That was the message from Northland Community Council President Emmanuel V. Remy at the group's July 1 meeting.
He said he and others in the neighborhood are delighted with the announced plans to close the old Kroger at 1630 Morse Road and replace it with a far larger version on the last large tract of vacant property at Northland Village.
Tentative plans, according to published reports, call for construction of a 100,000-square-foot store to begin in 2015 with its opening anticipated the following year. The current store is around 60,000 square feet.
"Obviously, this is a very good sign when you have a national retailer saying 'we want to reinvest in your community' to that magnitude," Remy said at the meeting.
The announced purchase price of the 13 acres was $3.55 million. The rest of the $20-million investment Remy expects for the entire project would include construction of the store.
The new store will have a Starbucks coffee outlet, according to Remy. It won't be one of the Kroger Marketplace stores, he continued, which sell home decor items and small appliances, but Remy anticipates prepared foods will be a major component of the new location.
He also said, during his monthly president's report to the NCC, that discussions with Kroger officials would be ongoing regarding what else might be included in the new store and how it might be laid out.
Remy said he plans to lobby for having the building front on Morse Road with parking at the rear.
It's a "big ask," Remy conceded, but would be worth it if grocery chain executives agree.
The new store may not require any variances, meaning the project would not come up for consideration by the Northland Community Council's development committee, Chairman Dave Paul pointed out.
However, he added, Kroger representatives may be asked to give presentations to committee members to keep residents aware of developments.
Remy pronounced himself "very, very excited for the future" as a result of the Kroger company's decision.