Kroger to replace Fishers grocery with massive Marketplace

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Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. plans to bring its sprawling Kroger Marketplace concept to Fishers—a $20 million investment expected to create almost 200 jobs.

The 123,000-square-foot superstore would be built on now-vacant land just west of Kroger’s 65,000-square-foot grocery at 116th street and Olio Road. The company plans to keep the current store open during construction, then demolish it for parking.
A multi-tenant commercial building adjacent to the existing Kroger would not be affected, said spokesman John Elliott.

Kroger is seeking a range of regulatory approvals for the project; if everything goes through as expected, construction could start this year and finish in 2015.

The company has two Marketplace stores in Indiana, both in Fort Wayne. The relatively new concept aims to provide customers with a one-stop shopping option. In addition to a full-service grocery and pharmacy, offerings run the gamut from furniture to electronics to toys.

Although the merchandise mix is still being finalized, Elliott said the new Fishers store will include a Fred Meyer Jewelers outlet.

Plans also call for a larger, “enhanced” pharmacy with private consultation space, he said, and a Wi-Fi-enabled café next to the deli. An existing fuel center on the property will remain in place.

The Fort Wayne Marketplace stores each have about 340 employees, more than twice as many as the busy Olio Road store’s 145.

Elliott acknowledged the logistical difficulties of keeping one store open while building another—and then operating the new store while the parking lot is a construction zone.

“We’re going to test the patience of our customers and associates,” he said. “But in the end, they’re going to get an amazing store. There’s nothing like Kroger Marketplace in Indianapolis right now.”

But first things first. Kroger has assembled about 7 acres of land for the project, which needs to be annexed into the town and then rezoned. Plans call for tearing down a vacant home on a portion of the property to add driveway access to 116th Street.

Kroger also needs to amend existing planned unit development guidelines for the whole 28-acre site. Among the changes it’s requesting: an increase in the maximum size of an anchor tenant, from 65,000 square feet to 125,000.

Fishers’ Plan Commission is expected to hear the rezoning and PUD requests at its April meeting.

What’s your take on the project? Do you want to buy a couch and your Cheerios in the same place?

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