Kroger Marketplace expected to spark business corridor near I-75

Preparation for construction of a new Kroger is underway in Moraine next to the existing grocery story. Demolition of the old Alex Bell Plaza opened up space for the new store. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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Preparation for construction of a new Kroger is underway in Moraine next to the existing grocery story. Demolition of the old Alex Bell Plaza opened up space for the new store. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Kroger is building a new Marketplace store in Moraine, a project expected to revitalize a larger business corridor along Ohio 741 near Interstate 75.

The new store – an investment of about $4 million by the company — will more than double Kroger’s retail space at the Alex Bell Plaza and lead to residual upgrades to the area just south of I-75’s Exit 47, officials said.

The new site, projected to open early next year, is expected to add jobs and “invigorate that whole quadrant” of three retail centers north of the West Alex-Bell Road intersection, said Moraine Acting City Manager Michael Davis, the city’s economic development director.

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Job figures are still being evaluated by the Cincinnati-based company, which in 2014 bought the plaza located near the borders of Miami Twp., West Carrollton, and a recently renovated Meijer.

“I think it’s fair to say that they’re going to add a significant amount of employees obviously to cover the additional space and the expected increase in service and sales,” Davis said. “I think when you look at it from a greater perspective, it’s going to have a tremendous impact to the Alex Bell Plaza (area) as a whole.”

Plans call for the Kroger Marketplace to be about 122,000 square feet, including both floor and “back-of-house” space, according to company spokeswoman Erin Rolfes.

After the project is complete – which includes demolition of the current 57,000 square foot site – the store will have about 530 parking spaces and a fueling center, she said.

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Word that the company had plans to build a Kroger Marketplace – which will mean more shopping options – has encouraged businesses to move to the Moraine corridor and could lead to traffic improvements along Ohio 741, Davis said.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles and a Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Auto Title Office has moved to the area from West Carrollton. Meanwhile, a nearby shopping center owner “has worked with Kroger on some realignment issues,” Davis said.

“We’re going to have a traffic light between the Arby’s and the Dairy Queen – at least it’s being planned now,” he said. “So it will actually control traffic flow a little bit better….and be a little bit safer.”

RELATED: Moraine annexing land for new Kroger

Kroger built the current site in 1978 and bought the Alex Bell Plaza for $2.3 million five years ago. Knowing of the company’s plans, Moraine annexed that property in recent years from Miami Twp. and demolition at the plaza began earlier this year.

Kroger Marketplace stores offer the company’s variety of food products but also expand into clothing, kitchen and small appliances, home office, toys and decor. Many of the Marketplaces also add food courts, wine bars, salad bars and Kroger pickup options.

The Cincinnati-based company has been expanding stores to offer Marketplaces in recent years. Fairborn’s Marketplace store opened beside its former store on Dayton-Yellow Springs Road in August 2017, and the grocer recently remodeled its Huber Heights and Kettering locations.

Decisions on what the Moraine site will include are not yet final, Rolfes said.

“But the new store will offer departments typical of a Marketplace, expanded Dip clothing options and some home goods are likely. The new store will include Kroger PickUp,” she said in an email. “As with any construction project, these planned additions and product assortment can change between now and when the new store opens.”

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