Colonial Heights to get Kroger
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Sep 11, 2013, 12:12
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — City leaders announced on Friday the proposed sale of the old courthouse to the grocer Kroger, and unveiled their plans for the development of the grocery store in its place.
The old courthouse, located at 401 Temple Ave, will become vacant next month when the newly built facility opens at 231 Chesterfield Ave, on the southern end of the Boulevard.
The old courthouse has been at the current site for 35 years.
Currently the property is owned by the city, and will be sold to Kroger for $2.6 million. Kroger plans to demolish the building and build a new store, which will be approximately 90,00 square feet, equal to the size of the Kroger located in Short Pump in Richmond.
City Manager Thomas Mattis revealed that the Kroger will be a full-service store, including a drive-through pharmacy and a fuel station.
Colonial Heights Mayor Scott Davis said that the new store will help produce tax revenue for the city, which it currently doesn’t because it is city property. This also helped when discussing conditions of the sale of the store to Kroger.
“The city owns this piece of property, so this is a great opportunity for us, because it allowed us to have more input on what’s going on here,” Davis said.
An important part of the plans for the new store includes being sure the community is not disturbed.
The store will have what Mattis described as “heavy screening” across the back of the building, where the neighborhood houses meet the property line of the site, assuring that the community is not interrupted by the new plan.
“The focus is on quality of life here, and protecting the neighborhood,” Mattis said.
The plans for the site also include a lighting plan, which will allow for adequate lighting at night for safety, but which will also not disturb the neighboring houses.
This facility will not be open 24 hours, but will be closed between midnight and 5 a.m..
Kroger currently has 16 open stores in the greater Richmond area, and are in the process of building store 17 on Staples Mill Road in Richmond. This store will be the first in Colonial Heights and the 18th store in the greater Richmond area.
Jay Cummings, president of the Mid-Atlantic area for Kroger said that the store will generate more than 200 jobs, with at least 40 of those being full-time positions.
“We’re creating a lot of opportunities not only with our folks who are with us today, but for new folks to join us,” Cummings said.
According to Cummings, the company has created about 1,000 new jobs in the past year in the greater Richmond area. The company has invested $215 million in this market area since 2000, and plans to invest another $130 million in the next year, which includes the $20 million investment for this store.
“We really like this marketing area,” Cummings said. “We’re excited to be able to rise this store.”
The plans for the store include installing a completely new traffic signal along with pedestrian signals. Plans for the store also include installing a roundabout to help with the flow of traffic in the area generated by the store.
ASHLEY MCLEOD/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT At the announcement at the Colonial Heights courthouse is, from left, City Manager Thomas Mattis, Mayor Scott Davis, Vice Mayor Diane Yates and Councilman Kenneth Frenier.
City leaders encourage residents to attend a public hearing being held Tuesday at the regular City Council meeting, where the will reveal the plans and hold an open forum for community members to comment on the proposed development. Council members will hold a vote at this meeting approving or denying the sale of the courthouse to Kroger.
Currently the closest Kroger to the city is in Chester, or the location in the Stonebridge shopping center. Cummings said the company is excited to expand to the area and help create economic development.
“We’re really thrilled to be here partnering with Colonial Heights, we think it’s a great opportunity and Kroger is committed to continue to grow our business
We’re looking forward to being a great partner with Colonial Heights,” Cummings said.