Monday, January 18, 2016

Murder Kroger Getting New Lease on Life

"Murder Kroger" to be redeveloped and rebuilt. 

Murder Kroger. BeltLine Kroger. Whatever you call it, the current Kroger at 725 Ponce de Leon Avenue, adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine and at the cusp of Old Fourth Ward, will soon be demolished.  Kroger, in partnership with "New City, LLC," a development company created this past fall, will replace the current Kroger with the thing Atlanta is most in need of, another M.U.D (Mixed Use Development) .  

New City was founded by Atlantan Jim Irwin, who, despite still being listed as "Senior Vice President - Jamestown Properties" on both his LinkedIn page as well as Jamestown's website, has vacated that position to helm his own company.  

The $140 million project, called "725 Ponce," will include a rebuilt 60,000 square foot Kroger underneath a 12-story building with 360,000 square feet of Class A loft office space. Located adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine, 725 Ponce will have a dedicated entrance next to the trail as well as over 900 parking spaces under the project to serve its office tenants. Parking during weekends and evenings will be open to the public for those visiting nearby Ponce City Market and the BeltLine. (Obviously it's too far in advance to announce the cost of parking but it will interesting to see how it will compare to the rates of controversial rates of Ponce City Market.) 

A large wrap-around mural in the produce section, one of two at the store 
The 60,000 square foot Kroger, which will reportedly be an 'urban-prototype,' will actually be 1,000 square feet smaller than the current store. (Renderings show the store occupying roughly the same footprint as the existing store.)  The current Kroger, built in 1984, has been renovated a few times, and even received two beautiful murals (one inside, one outside) about a year ago as the company tried to shed its "murder" moniker in favor of what it tried to have known as "BeltLine" Kroger.  

Kroger has had mixed results with "urban" stores as it previously closed both its 13,000 square foot store on Central Avenue downtown (2008) and its nearly 37,000 square foot store on Peachtree Street in midtown (2011).  

Kroger's current M.O. has been to either build new, larger stores, or significantly expand existing stores.  Recent or upcoming Kroger expansions include stores in Brookhaven, Decatur and Sandy Springs while new larger stores are planned for Lindbergh and Grant Park (118,000 Marketplace store at Fuqua's Glenwood Place project.)   

Kroger is also planning to close an existing 71,000 square foot store in Dawsonville to relocate and open a new 123,000 square foot Kroger Marketplace store and accompanying 9 pump gas station. A similar plan is in the works in Snellville where Kroger plans to close their existing roughly 63,000 square foot store in Midway Plaza on Atlanta Highway and build a new, 123,000 square foot Marketplace store and 9 pump gas station nearby.  

The classic Kroger cube, stylized in a "Murder Kroger" t-shirt design 
An employee who answered the phone "BeltLine Kroger" indicated that the Ponce store is slated to close May 7th with plans to reopen "in about two years."  The store, one of the oldest in metro Atlanta, features a modified "greenhouse" design format and its original four-sided cube signage on Ponce.  
The modified "greenhouse" Kroger on Ponce de Leon Avenue 
According to a release from New City, current plans call for the project to "break ground" this spring but that timeline may be pushed later as the Kroger building must first be demolished and then the land cleared, which could take a number of weeks.  

What are your thoughts on the planned redevelopment of this Kroger store?  Will you patronize the new "725 Ponce" Kroger?  What are your thoughts on the new and upcoming projects around Ponce City Market and their affect on area traffic?

Please share your thoughts below.  

Editor's Note: I was away on a brief vacation this past week and apologize for the delay of some of my posts. Rest assured I have plenty of news in store for the coming week.


Anonymous said...

Murder... new lease on Life... I see what you did there ;)

Ham said...

So, redevelopment of the Kroger itself sounds fine, but I wonder how much office/residential/retail space this area can handle. I’m not necessarily thinking about essential infrastructure like traffic, storm water, emergency services, etc. but is there really a demand for all this space. I for one welcome the redevelopment around the new park on Glenn Iris and the redevelopment of the Sears building, but wonder if the development in this area might be a little too hot.

Anonymous said...

vacation well deserved. excellent reporting as usual.
this blog continues to be a must read in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

way too much surface parking...that was my only problem with Kroger being situated the way it was and it looks like they aren't changing that at all with this redesign.

if i had my way, there'd not be a single surface parking lot within 100 yards of the beltline

Squires32 said...

But where am I going to park when I go to the Masquerade?