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Kroger Eyes Whitehall Site

Kroger Eyes Whitehall Site: Kroger Co. wants to move its Whitehall supermarket across Broad Street to the site of a former Big Bear, with financial assistance from the city.

The Cincinnati-based grocer would close its 65,000-square-foot store at 3675 E. Broad St. and open a 105,000-square-foot location on the west end of the Town and Country Shopping Center.

The former Big Bear and other nearby vacant storefronts – 150,000 square feet in all – would be demolished, said Zach Woodruff, director for the Whitehall Public Service/Building Department.

Kroger Eyes Whitehall Site

“It certainly has historical significance to Whitehall,” Woodruff said of the strip center at 3662-3712 E. Broad St. “(And) as the front door to our Broad Street gateway, that location has significance to us from a development standpoint.”

Whitehall is considering a combination of a 30-year tax-increment financing district and a 15-year, 52 percent tax abatement to spur the development.

Whitehall City Council is evaluating the proposal and is scheduled to vote April 19.

Kroger’s permits for a gas station and drive-through pharmacy on the site received favorable recommendations.

Whitehall officials are working alongside Kroger, as well as Casto, which owns the 7.9-acre site.

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“They had an unnamed retailer talking to them about how the city could partner in an effort to revitalize that western end of Town and Country,” Woodruff said of planning that began last year.

Cincinnati-based Kroger (NYSE:KR) said the new store is too early in planning to provide a timeline or cost.

Meanwhile, Whitehall officials will work with Schottenstein Property Group to backfill Kroger’s current store on the south side of Broad Street.

“What we’ve expressed to that property owner is we fully intend to work with them to help them secure another tenant or help redevelop that site,” Woodruff said. “I personally think that site will be an easier puzzle to figure out, rather than figure out that entire western end of Town and Country.”

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