Planners approve Kroger

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Planners on Tuesday recommended approval of a rezoning and conditional use permit for a Kroger Marketplace at the Hampton Roads Crossing development in North Suffolk.

The rezoning would change design guidelines and proffered conditions for the site, while the conditional use permit would allow a drive-through window at the Kroger pharmacy.

“I think it’s a good thing to have this retail establishment being interested in coming to Suffolk,” Planning Commissioner Thomas Savage said just before voting for the rezoning. “I’ll give it all the support I can.”

Email newsletter signup

The TerryPeterson Companies applied to change the design guidelines and proffered conditions to be able to better attract retail users, according to a planning staff report. The mixed-use development has not had as much

success with drawing non-residential interest as it has residential.

“We’ve been trying for five or six years now to get a great facility like Kroger,” Tuck Bowie of TerryPeterson said after Tuesday’s hearing. “Every retail store we’ve talked to has said, ‘You get an anchor, we’re interested.’ Now we’ve got an anchor.”

The changes mean the Unified Development Ordinance will no longer supplement the design standards but rather a separate document especially for Hampton Roads Crossing will govern the development. Planners hope the change will stimulate other commercial development, according to the staff report.

The new store is expected to be about 123,000 square feet, combining a grocery store with non-grocery space selling furniture, home décor, appliances, storage needs, kitchenware, office supplies and toys, according to a city news release announcing the store. It also will include a Kroger gas station. Construction is set to begin in July.

Chad Messer, a real estate specialist with Kroger Mid-Atlantic, spoke at the public hearings.

“We’ve had great success with this format across the country,” Messer said. “We really like that site, the access, the good mix of what we consider mainstream and upscale customers, which is where Kroger really excels.”

City Council will take up the matter on March 20.