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Decision on new Kroger’s could come next week

An example of the type of Kroger retail market store that could be built in north Bossier.

The long-rumored new Kroger retail market isn’t a done deal…yet.

The Bossier City Council will host a presentation by Kroger representatives interested in building a 123,000 square foot store Tuesday. The council will then decide whether to appropriate $7 million for a new road and infrastructure improvements.

City Attorney Jimmy Hall noted in last Tuesday’s meeting, “I keep hearing there’s a deal, there’s no deal, yet.”

The proposed market would be between Lowes and Walmart on Airline Drive. Construction would begin June of next year and open June 2016.

Residents would obviously benefit from another major retailer in addition to the Sam’s Club store locating a little further up in the Stirling Shopping Center. However, the city would also see that traffic on the already clogged Airline Drive isn’t drastically impacted for the worst.

During the last council meeting, City Engineer Mark Hudson outlined plans to extend Plantation Drive behind the Lowes and Walmart to Viking Drive.

“The thought there is that people in the northwest corner of the city and north of the city, even Benton, can connect with Viking Drive and enter the (store) from the rear without ever getting on Airline Drive,” said Hudson.

Additionally, the city would build a new road, “George Dement Boulevard,” through the Kroger development to connect with the extended Plantation Drive. Other plans would include extending Douglas Drive and Melrose Drive to the new section of Plantation Drive.

Council members agreed that the Plantation extension, followed by future extensions of Douglas and Melrose Drives would encourage new business development.

Councilman Tommy Harvey was concerned about the road only being two lanes and wanted to know if it was possible to expand it to three. Councilman David Montgomery asked Hudson to figure the cost of a three-lane road to accommodate anticipated future growth with a turn-lane.

Montgomery further suggested that an ordinance be passed to construct turn-lanes into the businesses to provide entry and exiting from new businesses along the Plantation extension.

This type of investment for a major retail development isn’t unheard of. The city and Bossier Parish invested $7.4 million for infrastructure in the Sterling (Target) Center.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.