Officials from The Kroger Company recently announced a $20 million plan to bring a Kroger Marketplace to a former Springfield Twp. driving range has been discontinued after a re-anaylsis of company priorities.
City officials previously said the project would have been a major improvement to the area, which could have spurred redevelopment and improvements, and said they were disappointed by the company’s recent decision. A spokeswoman for Kroger said the grocery store chain is focusing on devoting more resources to technology and upgrades to existing stores.
But news of the company’s decision has left not just city officials crestfallen, but many residents who were eagerly anticipating the new store.
“This is disappointing,” Ashley Johnson wrote on the Springfield News-Sun Facebook page. “All the Kroger locations in Springfield are very disappointing compared to other cities close by. I hope the plan is for a big face lift on existing locations if there is no plan for a marketplace.”
Clara Rogers wrote, “I’m totally crushed! My husband and I have been anxiously awaiting signs that construction was beginning! … So many busineses have closed on the south side of Springfield. We have no choices left, except to drive to Beavercreek or the far north side of Springfield to shop!”
Many people, however, were concerned about the location where the new Marketplace would have been developed.
“No way that store would have ever been profitable on the south side,” Richard Jerozal wrote. “Between shoplifting, robbery, car thefts, intimidation of customers … it would have been out of business in a year, anyways.”
“I thought it was a good idea, but not the best location perhaps,” Leelee Tate wrote. “We need stores to be accessible in all neighborhoods to all people, cars or not.”
Some of the commenters left ideas for possible other sites for a new location, if the company were to reconsider.
“There are empty lots like where the old Roberds was located on Main Street, or where Fulmers was on Burnett Road,” SNS user missvicki wrote.
Melissa White suggested, “They have that nice big spot behind the Dollar Tree on East Main Street.”
The Kroger Company has said they are considering some upgrades to existing stores, but no formal announcement of improvements to any Springfield locations has been mentioned.