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Kroger expansion planned


Officials say plans in early stages, construction may begin next year


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Few details are known but Kroger officials have confirmed they’d like to add 10,000 square feet to their store in Imlay City sometime next year. photo by Maria Brown.

December 01, 2010
IMLAY CITY — Kroger officials stress that plans are in the early stages but sometime next year, their Imlay City store will be one of 30 to undergo an expansion project.

The grocery store chain has said they'll add about 10,000 square feet to the S. Cedar Street location at a cost of close to $4.5 million.

Kroger spokesperson Dale Hollandsworth said it's yet to be determined where the extra square footage will come from or what additional services might be offered as a result.

What is known is that the company is investing in stores that "have been successful and there's no reason to believe that they won't continue to be successful," Hollandsworth said.

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The entire renovation project with an estimated value of $82 million will be financed with recovery zone facilities bond monies. Hollandsworth stresses that the bond money is not coming from the federal government. The program simply allows businesses in the recovery zone to sell bonds and the buyers won't be taxed on interest earned—something made possible by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

The Michigan Strategic Fund, acting as agents of the federal government, are scheduled to take action on Kroger's request to issue those bonds at meeting today, Dec. 1.

"This a great opportunity for a retailer to take advantage of recovery act benefits and create some jobs along the way," said Amy Banninga, director of federal initiatives at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Kroger, in their bond application, says 15 to 20 jobs should be created as a result of the project in Imlay City.

Hollandsworth said Kroger is committed to Michigan and is proud of the investments they've already made in the state.

In the last five years, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company has spent more than $480 million in capital improvements in their Michigan facilities. They employ 16,000 people across the state.

"In 2009, Kroger bought $400 million worth of agricultural products from Michigan farmers," Hollandsworth said.

Kroger acquired the Imlay City facility in June 2007, one of 20 Farmer Jack stores the corporation bought at the time.

Kroger is currently the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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