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Tuesday October 16, 2018

Kroger marketplace on back burner

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 15:33 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Plans for a Kroger Marketplace more than twice the size of its present traditional supermarket in LaPorte are on the back burner.

The store chain in October of 2016 entered into a purchase agreement with the city's redevelopment commission to build a 123,000 square foot Kroger Marketplace on 14 acres at New Porte Landing.

Bert Cook, executive director of the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation, said Kroger is having second thoughts due to a change, perhaps, in corporate structure and market conditions.

He said the present Kroger at the nearby Pine Lake Shopping Plaza could be renovated, instead, but nothing has been decided.

''The communication that's going between the city of LaPorte and Kroger corporate is a good discussion and it's ongoing and we'll continue to try and figure out what works best for both parties,'' Cook said.

When Kroger will decide its next move is not known but any construction of a Kroger Marketplace will not begin in 2018, as originally planned.

''The initial timeline that was discussed doesn't make sense for Kroger anymore and we'll be respectful of that,'' said Cook.

E-mail and telephone messages left with Kroger at its corporate offices in Cincinnati, Ohio were not returned.

According to the company website, Kroger Marketplaces started going up in 2005 to offer more of a one-stop shopping experience.

In addition to groceries, they offer products in the areas of home fashion and décor, bed and bath, kitchen and small appliances along with home office and toys.

Kroger Marketplace locations in Indiana include the Indianapolis area and Ft. Wayne.

They're in other states like Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas and Virginia.

New Porte Landing is where Allis Chalmers for decades manufactured farm equipment until the early 1980's.

It took close to 20-years to remediate the close to 50 acres equipped with roads, water and sewer.

Dunkin Donuts was first to locate there in the spring of 2016 and next is Starbucks expected to open before Christmas.

The Dunes Volleyball Club is also relocating there from Rolling Prairie and expects to be open in spring of 2018.

Cook said the foundation of the volleyball club is in and the thousands of people drawn there annually for practices and competition should help recruit more development and provide noticeable boost in traffic to the downtown area.
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