How to build a Kroger on Wayne Avenue- without a fuss

In high-rent districts, grocers find a way to shoe horn a store in at any cost. When it’s not a high-rent district, they scream poverty and ask for city support.

What kind of Kroger store could be built- on the current site? Huge, when you build the store at grade and put the parking on the roof, or vice-versa. Here’s an article from the Tampa Tribune on how Publix is rising to the challenge:

Grocer Rises To The Occasion
TREASURE ISLAND – The problem: providing a full-service supermarket on a postage-stamp lot.

The solution, at least for Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets: an unorthodox store design rising in the Gulf beach community of Treasure Island, where the company aims to serve the shorts-and-flip-flops crowd that would most likely have to drive off the barrier island to pick up groceries.

To meet flood codes and to take advantage of the snug 2-acre footprint on the Intracoastal Waterway, the store will sit on the second floor of a 40-foot-tall structure, above a covered, street-level parking garage. A large staircase and four oversized elevators will guide shoppers into the store.

At 28,000 square feet, it’s just over half the size of the typical Publix supermarket. That doesn’t mean less grocery variety, though, said spokeswoman Shannon Patten.

“We will have every single product that a 45,000 square-foot store would have. For the most part, our customers love the 28,000 square-foot stores, because it’s everything you could need, but it’s just packed into a smaller area.”

There are some concessions. For example, the store will have fresh flowers, but not a full-service floral department. It also will not have a pharmacy.

The interior will resemble those of smaller stores that Publix has built in downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa, although those stores are not elevated. A similar elevated structure has been built in the South Florida beach town of Surfside.

An industry observer says to expect more.

“I definitely think it’s a trend,” said Christina Veiders, managing editor of trade publication Supermarket News. “Especially where you have either limited or expensive real estate. They have to kind of refigure the store design to go by those specifications.”

She said supermarkets are turning to unusual sites such as the retail sections of high-rise condo or apartment buildings in Chicago, Toronto and Manhattan.

“Publix is an upscale operator, and you must have an upscale market there” in Treasure Island, she said. “They can tap into that and help grow market share in an area they haven’t been able to before.

Publix wouldn’t divulge the price of the land or construction costs. The parcel previously held a standard Topps supermarket and the Treasure Island Fun Center arcade.

A Subway sandwich shop will take over one of two retail outlets built into the store. The second is not yet leased.

If Dayton wasn’t an easy mark for handouts to developers, Kroger might have considered buying the leased location and just a few more houses- and approached this new store in a totally different manner.

What do you think?

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