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Oakley Station lands largest-ever Cincinnati Kroger as retail anchor

Tom Demeropolis • Business Courier
The largest Kroger Marketplace store in the Cincinnati area will anchor the retail portion of the mixed-use Oakley Station development.

The developer of Oakley Station, Vandercar Holdings Inc., and a representative from Kroger Co. discussed the new store at the Oakley Community Council meeting on Tuesday night.

“We’re going through the process,” said Rob Smyjunas, CEO of real estate development firm Vandercar Holdings. “We’re very excited about them working on this project with us.”

While Smyjunas said adding Kroger to the site is a great addition, the deal isn’t completed yet. The project still needs to go through the approval process at the corporate level with Kroger and go through the city of Cincinnati’s planning commission.

“They create so many customer impressions on a daily basis,” Smyjunas said. “Kroger’s a great, great addition.”
Officials with Kroger were not immediately available for comment.

“It’s an ideal fit for the project and the community,” Steve Dragon, vice president of Cincinnati-based Vandercar, told me Wednesday morning. “They’re a great local company, a daily needs kind of retailer that will bring people to the project often.”

This would be the largest Kroger Marketplace store the company has ever built at more than 145,000 square feet. The average Kroger Marketplace store is about 115,000 square feet.

Kroger is still working through the final design of the store, but it will have a bistro restaurant, bakery, natural foods, expanded perishable departments, a fuel center and other offerings outside of grocery items, such as home decor and toys, Dragon said.

Kroger doesn’t have an official estimated opening date yet, but Dragon said the company is looking at a 2015 opening.

All of the infrastructure and streets for Oakley Station, which is being developed at the site of the former Cincinnati Milacron complex in Oakley, will be ready June 1, Dragon said. The first tenants will move into the Boulevard at Oakley Station apartments at the end of June. Then, the Cinemark movie theater is expected to open in July.

Now that the anchor tenant for the 74-acre development has been nailed down, the retail leasing team expects a number of other tenants to sign deals for space soon.

When Mike Halonen and Melissa Ruther, retail leasing agents with Edge Real Estate Group, were talking with potential outlot tenants for the development, there were a couple of potential anchor tenants interested in the site. When asking these retailers and restaurants who they would prefer, they overwhelmingly said they preferred to have Kroger as the anchor, Halonen said.

Dragon said he expects a number of outlot and junior anchor retail space deals will come together now that Kroger is anchoring the retail portion.

Ruther said with Kroger as the anchor they are targeting a number of family, sit-down style restaurants for the outlots. Halonen said they are in negotiations with at least 10 freestanding restaurant users and retailers that would occupy small shop space.

Peter Draugelis, president of the Oakley Community Council, said Kroger plans to keep its Hyde Park Plaza store open. He also said the community council is looking at the details of the plan and will be in contact with the developer, the city of Cincinnati and Kroger if it has any comments or concerns.

“It’s encouraging to see the project moving forward,” Draugelis said.

Read the full article here. 

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