As the former “Baby Kroger” store in the Peachtree Crossings shopping center has remained dark for nearly a year, a deadline is approaching that could impact the immediate future of the 33,000-square-foot space.
The Citizen has learned that The Kroger Company has a deadline looming in a matter of weeks to potentially extend its lease on the building, which is located prominently near the intersections of Ga. Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway, close to the geographic center of the city.
Kroger officials Tuesday declined to return a phone call inquiring about the potential lease extension. The company has been actively marketing the site, which is currently listed with The Shopping Center Group.
If Kroger re-ups the lease, it could potentially affect the marketing of the property.
Contrary to rumors, Kroger has been willing to allow another grocer to move into the store. City officials said a deal with The Fresh Market company was close last year though it was nixed at the last minute by Fresh Market officials.
Local resident Caren Russell has been working to attract The Fresh Market, saying it would be a good fit for residents who need to take something quick home for dinner.
The Baby Kroger closed in March of last year as the company said it wasn’t profitable. Prior to the Kroger ownership the store was owned by Harris Teeter. Many residents still refer to the space as Big Star, which was the first grocer to operate in the space … and the city’s first chain grocery store.
At one point before it closed, The Kroger Company had reached a deal to sublease the Baby Kroger space to the Goodwill corporation for a retail store.
But community uproar over that prospect unraveled the deal and Kroger kept the store open.
The Development Authority of Peachtree City has been working behind the scenes with the shopping center owner and Kroger to find the best potential use for the property.