A proposed $20 million Kroger Marketplace near I-70 was scheduled to begin construction this year, but company officials said this week no updates on the project will be available until June while the company focuses on existing stores.
Local leaders have touted the benefits of the proposed project, which could bring about 350 jobs to the area and anchor improvements along Springfield’s southern corridor. Last year, Kroger officials said they planned to move ahead with the development this year on a site south of I-70 on a former Springfield Twp. driving range but were working through “zoning and development issues.”
This week the company said no further updates will be available until June.
“Earlier this year, we announced the shifting of capital expenditures in the short term from brick and mortar to focus on the customer experience in our existing stores, e-commerce and digital technology,” said Patty Leesemann, a spokeswoman for Kroger. “We do not have a timeline on construction for the Springfield Marketplace. We hope to have an update on store projects in June.”
City leaders remain optimistic the project will move forward later this year. Local economic development officials are still having discussions with the company, said Tom Franzen, assistant city manager and director for economic development for Springfield.
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The project, if it moves forward, could provide a boost to additional development along Springfield’s southern corridor long-term, he said.
“Certainly it serves as an anchor,” Franzen said of the potential project. “You’ve seen that anywhere a Kroger Marketplace has been developed in this part of the region. It drives additional development and investment in commercial, retail and residential. We see the Kroger Marketplace potential as being catalytic in that area of town and we think it will benefit a lot of development.”
The Cincinnati-based grocery store chain is one of the largest employers in the region, with about 443,000 workers. It operates about 2,800 grocery stores in 35 states, according to information from the company.
Just last year, Kroger unveiled new marketplace stores in Fairborn and Centerville, and the company has pledged to renovate a store in Huber Heights. The Huber Heights renovation is also expected to be complete this year.
Information from Kroger shows the chain’s supermarkets account for about 93 percent of its revenue, but Kroger also operates close to 800 convenience stores, 319 fine jewelry stores and an online retailer. It also manufactures some of the food for sale in its supermarkets.
According to the company’s website, the Marketplace stores typically range in size from 100,000 to 145,000 square feet and require an investment of about $24 million, including real estate. Along with groceries, the Marketplace stores also typically provide items that range from prepared food to general merchandise including toys, clothing and home goods.
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