New Kroger to open in new year

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 9, 2015


ROSEVILLE — The Kroger store under construction at 13 Mile Road and Flora Street, which will replace a vacant Kmart property, should be open for business in early 2016.

According to City Manager Scott Adkins, work on the new store is “substantially completed” with no issues from the city’s perspective. Since

Kroger’s fiscal year starts when the calendar year does, Adkins said, Kroger opted to finish up and open next month.

“We’ve had a seamless project,” Adkins said. “They’ve been very cooperative for the city, addressing any concerns, and we haven’t really had any issues.”

Ed Boutrous, CEO of Boutrous Development Corporation, said there had been no issues “out of the ordinary” with construction, and the basic building shell was essentially completed. The next step was to install fixtures inside the building — a process that was nearly underway, he said last week.

“Once the building shell and all the underground utilities and whatever are in place, then fixtures are moved in,” Boutrous said. “Fixturing is like a 60-day process, and then after that it takes probably a month or so to stock and train employees and that kind of thing.”

He added that his company believes they should be able to make the early January deadline to have all the work finished so that the store could open.

Part of the project involved putting a new traffic signal on 13 Mile, in front of the Kroger driveway, to protect drivers making left turns. Adkins said that the wiring was complete on that new signal, and that it was now up to the Macomb County Department of Roads to synchronize the light with the one at 13 Mile and Little Mack.

Upon its opening, the store will not have a Kroger Fuel Center gas station; Boutrous said the company had decided against building one at this time. Since the City Council had approved a gas station at the site, Kroger could still build one at a later date.

Adkins said the project was able to take advantage of the “commercial rehabilitation district” established on the property in 2012, which will allow the tax rate on the property to freeze for 10 years as a development incentive. The city will see benefits without that specific boost to property taxes, Adkins said.

Adkins said Kroger plans on moving employees to the new store from other stores, as well as adding new permanent jobs. He also pointed to the announcement of a multimillion-dollar facelift to the neighboring Meijer store and the opening of an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet nearby as possible effects of the Kroger construction.

“You’re seeing a lot of investment to that area as well,” he said.

Boutrous would not get into the specifics on how much the project has cost, but he said his company had initially discussed it being in the $15 million range. The project was approved in November 2014, and Boutrous said that construction typically takes about a year.

He praised Roseville’s cooperation in the project and said that the city’s redevelopment-ready designation from the state was well-earned.

“We’ve had splendid cooperation from Roseville, which is what we’ve had all the way through this process,” he said. “It’s so much different from other places.”

A representative of Kroger could not be reached by press time.