Kroger buys shopping center for future development

Kroger has purchased the Alex-Bell Plaza shopping center at 5670 Springboro Pike (Ohio 741) in Moraine for $2.3 million. The shopping center is adjacent to an existing Kroger grocery store at 2917 W. Alex-Bell Road.

Kroger spokeswoman Rachael Betzler confirmed Tuesday that her company bought the property “to redevelop at a later date,” but said she could not share the company’s plans for the 77,000-square-foot shopping center, which sits on a 7.5-acre property in Moraine.

Moraine City Manager David Hicks described the purchase as “wonderful news.” Although Hicks said he has had “no direct conversations with Kroger” officials about specific plans for the site, he has spoken with intermediaries who made it clear Kroger was interested in constructing a new grocery store in or near the shopping center.

“A new building would be a great addition there, and it would reinvigorate the area,” Hicks said.

The existing Kroger on Alex-Bell was built in 1978 and is 57,000 square feet, Kroger’s Betzler said. There are multiple precedents in the Dayton area of Kroger building larger stores to replace existing grocery stores, including the Kroger Marketplace store on Ohio 48 in south Centerville and a similar project that is in its early stages in Troy.

Chris Snyder — planning and zoning director for Miami Twp., where the existing Kroger store is located — said Tuesday the shopping-center purchase is “a positive sign that Kroger is willing to invest in the area,” and said such an investment would ultimately benefit both Moraine and Miami Twp.

The Alex Bell Plaza is appraised for property-tax purposes at $2.8 million, according to Montgomery County property records. It was purchased by PDQ Bell Plaza Ltd. in April 2008, before the recession, for $6.2 million, and sold to Kroger Limited Partnership on Friday for $2.325 million. When it first went on the market for sale in early 2013, the asking price was $5.8 million.

The shopping center includes a Family Dollar, Dollar General and Rent-A-Center.

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