Construction is underway on a new Kroger Marketplace on the corner of Ohio 4 and Kyles Station Road in Liberty Twp. When it opens, the 124,000-square-foot store will replace an existing 57,000-square-foot location that Kroger started leasing at 5420 Liberty-Fairfield Road in 1998. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF

It took years, but Butler County’s latest new Kroger is making strides

The Cincinnati-based grocer broke ground earlier this year on a long-awaited 124,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace at Kyles Station in Liberty Twp.

The new store will include a fuel center and serve as the anchor for the 56-acre Kyles Station development, located on Ohio 4 at Kyles Station Road in Liberty Twp. When the new location opens, it will replace a 57,000-square-foot storefront that Kroger started leasing at 5420 Liberty-Fairfield Road in 1998.

Oberer will construct 13,800-square-foot strip center The Shoppes at Kyles Station adjacent to Kroger with a PetValu, El Rancho Nuevo Mexican restaurant, Aura Nails & Spa and a Great Clips. That leaves 3,500 square feet of remaining vacant space remaining.

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A previously announced second phase calls for the addition of 7,000 square feet of retail space. In addition to Kroger, the new Kyles Station development will also offer 16 outlots ranging in size between one to four acres.

Dairy Queen opened on an outlot at the site in 2019. Tide Cleaners closed the sale of a nearly one-acre outlot in December and broke ground on a new location last month.

Additional outlots are under contract and on track to close in the first quarter. Valvoline has submitted plans for a new location on the site, township officials said.

“Our retail center will provide a great tenant mix and the pending outlot sales will offer more service oriented services,” said Chris Conley, president/partner of Oberer Realty Services and representative of the developer in the sale. “We look forward to ramping up the development to offer additional inline retail, restaurant, outlot and office opportunities.”

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The Kroger Marketplace project has a contentious history. After the township’s zoning board approved some variances for it in 2015, neighbors appealed to common pleas court, but Butler County Judge Greg Stephens sided with Kroger.

Site work started in 2017, but the project remained on the company’s backburner as others were given the green light.

“The township is excited that the new Kroger Marketplace is officially under construction and we look forward to the added development any new Kroger brings to the surrounding area,” said Caroline McKinney, the township’s economic development director. “We have a couple great outlot users exploring opportunities which is nice to see. We know many residents have been anxious to learn more about Kroger’s timing so it’s wonderful to be able to say they are moving full steam ahead.”

Asked when the store might open and how many jobs it might create in addition to those moving from the existing Ohio 4 location, Kroger said it had no additional information to release.

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Last year was a busy one for various Kroger projects in Butler County.

In January, a new location opened at 8000 Princeton-Glendale Road in West Chester Twp., replacing a 71,000-square-foot facility about a half mile to the south that it had leased since 1990.

Locations in Middletown and Monroe completed months-long renovations in February and April, respectively.

Kroger broke ground at 6266 Hamilton Lebanon Road in Monroe in June for a new warehouse that will be the nation’s first-ever high-tech customer fulfillment center as part of its partnership with U.K.-based Ocado, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers.

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Kroger is investing $55 million to build the structure — the first of 20 in the country. It will open in spring 2021, creating more than 400 new jobs.The automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a shed, will be replicated to serve customers across America.

A giant new Kroger Marketplace in West Chester Twp. cleared a major hurdle late last year and is still part of negotiations aimed at bringing the complex development deal home.

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 Kroger store and retail center.

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