Plans are now on hold for a new Kroger Marketplace store on Bloomington’s east side.
A Kroger spokesperson said Friday that the delayed project in Bloomington is part of a nationwide slowdown in company construction. That came one day after Kroger announced it would be closing two Peoria locations and canceling two other projects there.
“We have reduced the pace of construction around the country,” Kroger spokesperson Eric Halvorson said in an email to GLT. “Our analysts are now reviewing plans to see whether the original expectations meet new projections. So we can describe the Bloomington project as ‘on hold’ until the analysis is complete.”
Kroger initially wanted to close its store at 1550 E. College Ave., Normal, and build a new $24.5 million Kroger Marketplace and gas station on College near Hershey Road, across from Meijer. Kroger has said the current College Avenue location is too small to support its growing sales and product line.
To support the project, the Bloomington City Council back in February 2016 approved a $2.5 million sales tax break for Kroger. At that time, the city expected construction to begin by spring/summer 2016, with the new store opening by summer/fall 2017. Construction never began.
In December 2016, Bloomington aldermen approved a revised tax-rebate plan. But city officials noted the delay in the project.
“Earlier this year, due to global macroeconomic conditions beyond the company’s control, Kroger’s Cincinnati-based executive management team chose to delay the Bloomington Marketplace project along with multiple other new store projects across the nation,” city staff wrote.
Since then, Kroger has acquired the property on College and Hershey, enough space for its 128,000-square-foot store—its first Marketplace store in Illinois. The company bought the land for $4.6 million in February 2017.
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