Reynoldsburg's newest Kroger store is expected to create about 350 jobs once it is built at the northwest corner of East Main Street and Rosehill Road.
"It also should create an anchor on East Main as the city and local developers look to revitalize the area," city Development Director Andrew Bowsher said. "This project has been long-awaited and was held off many times."
The Kroger Co. broke ground in Reynoldsburg on March 5 to begin construction on the project.
The company acquired the 16-acre site formerly occupied by a trailer park from Greenlawn Realty Co., owner of the mobile home community and the surrounding vacant land.
Bowsher said work began with grading and dirt removal to prepare for installing fuel tanks for a gas station.
"The gas station will be completed by late June and shortly after, they will start the construction of the store," he said.
Bowsher said he was told the approximate date of completion for the new grocery store is late September 2019.
Amy McCormick, Kroger corporate affairs manager, said that timeline is not definite, but she said the new fuel center is scheduled to open in late June.
She said the company was happy to find a site on East Main Street for the new store.
"This was a great location for us to meet the needs of our customers," she said.
Although it was reported earlier in the year that the new store would be a Marketplace store selling home goods and clothing as well as groceries, McCormick said this is not the case.
"Our new location will be a 100,000-square-foot traditional-format grocery store," she said.
She said some departments in the store would be expanded, however, much like the new store that opened in Lancaster late last year.
"It's preliminary to share details regarding departments," she said.
Bowsher said Kroger's lease on its current location at 6962 E. Main St. will expire in December 2019, so that store will be closed.
"Once the new Kroger is completed, the current Kroger would relocate the remaining product and employees to the new store," he said.
He said the new store should not affect operations of another Reynoldsburg Kroger store on Taylor Road.
"The Kroger store at the corner of Taylor Road and East Main will remain open," he said.
The Kroger Co. has so far not received any tax benefits from the city related to the new development, Bowsher said.
As for the Kroger that will close, he said there are as yet no firm plans for redeveloping that site. According to the Franklin County Auditor's website, the property is owned by Schendel Retail Center LLC in Portland, Oregon.
"I have been working tirelessly with the property owner to figure a path going forward," Bowsher said. "The last thing the city wants is vacant storefronts."
He said ideas for the building have been discussed, however.
"A plan moving forward is being discussed, and nothing is off the table," he said. "The site and its proximity to Old Town Reynoldsburg and the future community center, prizes this site for redevelopment."