Giant new Kroger Marketplace closer to happening in West Chester after land deals

The proposed giant new Kroger Marketplace in West Chester Twp. has cleared another hurdle with agreements in place for the purchase of both the adjacent church and Chesterwood Village along Cox Road.

The township trustees finalized a $1.8 million deal with Kroger’s landlord, Regency Centers, in September to sell the former township Activity Center to clear the way for a giant new grocery and retail center. The acquisition allowed for a new 95,545-square-foot Kroger to replace the existing store, but the grocery giant and retail center owners needed two other properties to build a 117,166-square-foot Marketplace.

Regency had to acquire the Providence Bible Fellowship church and a portion of the adjacent Chesterwood Village property, which is owned by Hillandale Communities, to build the giant store. If those purchases didn’t materialize, the agreement with the township would have been void.

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Ryan Ertel, senior leasing agent for Regency, told the Journal-News they came to an agreement with the church late last year, now he said they have also secured a deal with Hillandale. He wouldn’t provide any further details about the land acquisitions.

Brent Dixon, Chesterwood’s CEO, said they plan to swap the parcel Regency needs near Kroger for a piece of land they need closer to Kohl’s.

“We did reach an agreement with them for a possible site swap for our parcel, for a parcel that they have which would allow us to complete the construction of our expansion,” Dixon said.

The agreement with West Chester stated if Regency was unable to secure the church property within 90 days, it could terminate the agreement with the township. The 90 days expired in December.

After that 90 days, the agreement can’t be terminated unless something adverse is discovered during the due diligence period, there is an issue with zoning or Kroger won’t sign a lease. The due diligence period ends in March. The Chesterwood land purchase was not a deal breaker.

Township Trustee Mark Welch was delighted to hear about the Chesterwood agreement.

“If it happens in a land swap I think that that’s creativity in motion,” Welch said. “There’s no dollars exchanged but the simple land that benefits both and there’s your classic win-win.”

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