New Kroger development deal struck

2755
Rendering of what the new Bossier City Marketplace will look like.

Bossier City has reached an agreement with Kroger to bring a new store and potential retail development to north Bossier.

The City Council will sign off on a new Kroger Marketplace store between Home Depot and Walmart on Airline Drive on Feb. 18, that is expected to bring further retail development. The council also approved $7 million Tuesday for infrastructure to support the new development.

The council heard from Kroger representatives in their regular meeting about a new 124,000 square foot store. The store would be double the size of an average supermarket and employ more than 300 full time and part time employees.

“We want to bring our very best store to Bossier City and show off,” said Gary Huddlestone, director of consumer affairs for Kroger.

Moreover, SDI Realty, the developers of the land, said they have a new national craft retailer, pet store, home improvement store, several retailers, a fast food restaurant, and steakhouse among others that would locate in the space around the proposed development. They declined to name any of the potential stores at this time.

“We’ve had a lot of time to put this project together, but Kroger is the catalyst for this project and once they begin construction, the rest of these businesses should fall into place and we should be open by the summer of 2015,” said Ken Delery, co-founder of SDI Realty.

The council also agreed at their meeting to appropriate $7 million from the Riverboat Gaming Fund for a new road and infrastructure improvements to support the potential development.

The city plans to extend Plantation Drive behind the Home Depot and Walmart to Viking Drive.

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.

Councilman David Montgomery had previously 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.

The Marketplace will feature traditional super market offerings alongside many different products. These would include organic produce, a high quality deli meat, bakery with gourmet cakes, chef prepared meals including fresh sushi and a salad bar, a seafood market, flower department, pharmacy, money services area, “extensive” wine and beer section, and a Starbucks coffee shop.

Futhermore, the market would feature several “stores within a store” that would sell kitchenware, baby products, bedding goods, apparel and jewelry.

A fuel center would also be featured on the premises.

Huddlestone said they do not plan to close their current location on Benton Road, saying “We want to only focus on this store.” However, he said a decision on the future of that store could come later.

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.

The target date to open is the “first half” of 2015.