A rendering of designs for the new Kroger store on Euclid. The front of the store would face east, toward Ashland Avenue, with the new designs.
Plans for the new Kroger include bringing the store's exterior walls much closer to Euclid and Marquis avenues. Shown here is the corner of Euclid and Marquis.
Representatives from Kroger held a community meeting Tuesday night to present preliminary plans and designs for a completely new grocery store at the site of the company’s current store on Euclid Avenue.
Instead of renovating and expanding the current store, Kroger plans to raze the existing 38,000-square-foot structure and build a drastically different outlet, which would be 64,000 square feet. Currently, Kroger doesn’t expect construction to begin at the site until spring 2014.
Aside from the increase in size, the store would be reoriented to face east, toward Ashland Avenue (instead of toward Euclid Avenue, as the store sits now), and situated in a manner to have exterior walls much closer to Euclid and Marquis avenues. Kroger plans on installing an outdoor eating area with benches and an entrance to a cafe along Euclid.
Danny Lethco, a real estate manager for Kroger who presented the plans to the dozens in attendance at the meeting, likened the new store’s “streetside” orientation to a Kroger located in the Highlands neighborhood in Louisville. He said the Euclid Avenue designs was unique to this Kroger and reflected the “special” nature of the location.
Plans also include a drive-thru pharmacy, which would be located on the southwest side of the store, closest to Ashland Terrance, as well as uncovered roof-top parking which would have 125 spaces. There also would be 99 ground-level parking spaces available. Customers would access the roof-top lot via a ramp, also on the southwest side of the store, and the grocery would utilize a number of new apparatuses to convey shoppers, including an elevator which would hold carts and customers and a “cartalator” – a type of escalator for grocery carts.
At the moment, Kroger has not filed a zoning change request with the Planning Commission. The zoning change would incorporate the vacant lots on Marquis behind the current store that Kroger acquired in 2011. Lethco said the paperwork would be filed in “the next month or two,” and that the plans were still being modified.
“This is a work in progress,” he said during the presentation. “Everything we are showing you tonight, we are making tweaks based on different meetings we’ve had with different people.”
The current Kroger store on Euclid opened in 1980, and, aside from renovation work in 1999, has not had much updating. Lethco said the intention behind the new, larger store would be to offer customers a much wider array of products and services, such as a walk-in beer cooler; soup, salad and sushi bars; expanded specialty cheeses, kitchen and dining items, and a bigger selection of health and organic food items. The new store would also have a 31,000-square-foot basement for food prep, storage and other employee services.
The new grocery would still be much smaller than other Marketplace Kroger stores located in Lexington.
As the old store is demolished and the new store is being constructed, Lethco said his company is working on ways to mitigate the level of inconvenience current Kroger customers could experience. He said a temporary, off-site pharmacy could be installed nearby, and there could even be provided transportation options to other area Krogers,
Many of those in attendance at the presentation voiced specific concerns they had with the preliminary plans, including the size and scope of the new structure regarding how it would fit in the neighborhood, traffic flow, bicycling and pedestrian considerations and green space.