Kroger officials unveiled July 17 the results of a five-month remodel of the store on Henderson Road in Upper Arlington.
In February, Kroger kicked off a $3.1 million remodel of its store at 1955 W. Henderson Road to update it with new merchandise cases, as well as fixtures and decor.
The project wrapped last week, and company officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony, where they also highlighted the addition of six self-checkout stations and the Chicken Co., which the company dubs as "a new quick-and-easy meal option in the deli department."
"We are very excited to showcase our updated store to the community," said Kristina Eyster, store leader for the Henderson Road store. "As we continue to consider ways to better serve our customers, we are thrilled to offer new time-saving options and other services to help our shoppers become heroes at mealtime."
The Henderson Road store is 78,100 square feet and has more than 140 associates.
The remodel also included an update to the store's bakery department with expansion of its selection of artisan breads and a new app that allows shoppers to order the Chicken Co. selections and sliced bulk meats and cheeses in advance.
"Stores are selected for remodels based on a number of factors including performance, the need for decor and fixture improvements, technology enhancements, etc.," said Amy McCormick, corporate-affairs manager for Kroger. "The renovation in Upper Arlington provided fixture and flooring updates through the store. ...
"In addition, we updated store decor, relocated and updated the pharmacy and added self-checkout lanes at customer service. The renovation was within-the-wall updates; no additional square footage was added to the property."
Store hours are 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, with pharmacy hours 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
"It's a positive any time an existing business reinvests in our community, and we are pleased to see the Kroger Co. take steps to enhance its existing Upper Arlington location," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington community-affairs director. "This store provides a full range of services above and beyond its grocery offerings and is conveniently located for neighborhoods in the mid-to-north part of Upper Arlington, as well as for adjacent neighborhoods in Columbus and the many workers employed along the Henderson Road corridor."
While company and city officials hailed the Henderson Road remodel, there still is no word on when Kroger might develop the 6.2-acre site that formerly was the Macy's store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center.
Kroger announced it would buy the property in January 2015, and city officials have said the company has indicated it plans a mixed-use development at Kingsdale, which may or may not include retail, office, residential, restaurant, bank and grocery uses.
"Regarding the Kingsdale property, Kroger is still in the process of developing plans and we continue to work with the city," McCormick said.
In March, Upper Arlington City Council members and city attorney Jeanine Hummer discussed the possibility of adopting "dark-store" legislation that might provide the city such options as forcing the demolition of a vacant building after a defined period of inactivity or placing further restrictions on where and how new big-box retail spaces may be built in the city.
Since that time, however, no action has been taken to bring forth a dark-store ordinance, and Hummer said July 16 the city has few, if any, current options to force a redevelopment of the former Macy's building.
"As long as Kroger is in compliance with maintenance of the property, the city is unable to speed up development," she said. "The city has not taken any action to expedite.
"As with any economic-development project, the city is open to potential development opportunities that would benefit all parties."
Speight said July 16 Kroger has yet to submit any development plans for the site, at which Macy's served as the anchor of Kingsdale for 45 years.
"We have no update other than to reiterate that the city looks forward to working with the Kroger Co. as when it is ready to bring forward a redevelopment proposal for consideration," she said.
During the dark-store discussion in March, council President Kip Greenhill called the Kingsdale property an "eyesore" and questioned its impact on surrounding property values and future investments.
When asked about his thoughts on the continued languishing of the property at Kingsdale before the July 17 ribbon-cutting, Greenhill said, "I'm going to be optimistic that things will work out there."
During his ceremonial comments, however, Greenhill referenced the ongoing issue.
"Kroger has been a good partner for the city of Upper Arlington over the years," he said.
"We hope that that partnership only grows with some other endeavors down the road.
"Think Kingsdale," he said.