As Fresh Market says no, Baby Kroger’s future uncertain

Tue, 02/09/2010 - 5:24pm
By: John Munford

As the former “Baby Kroger” store in the Peachtree Crossings shopping center has remained dark for nearly a year, a deadline is approaching that could impact the immediate future of the 33,000-square-foot space.

The Citizen has learned that The Kroger Company has a deadline looming in a matter of weeks to potentially extend its lease on the building, which is located prominently near the intersections of Ga. Highway 54 and Peachtree Parkway, close to the geographic center of the city.

Kroger officials Tuesday declined to return a phone call inquiring about the potential lease extension. The company has been actively marketing the site, which is currently listed with The Shopping Center Group.

If Kroger re-ups the lease, it could potentially affect the marketing of the property.

Contrary to rumors, Kroger has been willing to allow another grocer to move into the store. City officials said a deal with The Fresh Market company was close last year though it was nixed at the last minute by Fresh Market officials.

Local resident Caren Russell has been working to attract The Fresh Market, saying it would be a good fit for residents who need to take something quick home for dinner.

The Baby Kroger closed in March of last year as the company said it wasn’t profitable. Prior to the Kroger ownership the store was owned by Harris Teeter. Many residents still refer to the space as Big Star, which was the first grocer to operate in the space ... and the city’s first chain grocery store.

At one point before it closed, The Kroger Company had reached a deal to sublease the Baby Kroger space to the Goodwill corporation for a retail store.

But community uproar over that prospect unraveled the deal and Kroger kept the store open.

The Development Authority of Peachtree City has been working behind the scenes with the shopping center owner and Kroger to find the best potential use for the property.

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Submitted by Arf on Thu, 02/11/2010 - 9:37am.

The problem with the “little Kroger” space is that it is in the Glenloch village shopping center, which has been allowed to “go down” for years, creating an eyesore right in the middle of town. What quality retailer would want that space? The village concept calls for a shopping venue for each village, but we have not kept on top of it very well. The city stopped supporting and concentrating on these shopping areas years ago, and Glenloch in particular has digressed to the point of looking pretty drab. The renovations at Braelinn are long overdue, but at least something is being done there to refresh and revitalize the center. Hopefully, it will once again become a viable shopping and eating venue. Even the first shopping center, Aberdeen looks and feels better than Glenloch and Braelinn and it apparently offers enough to the residents so that business there looks like it is doing well.

The “little Kroger” was definitely a stepchild. I stopped there often because it was convenient, but a lot of times, I couldn’t even find products typically available at other Kroger’s. It was always understaffed, with long lines, and many of the employees came across as bored and uncaring. Some of these same employees are now at other Kroger’s and have a completely different attitude, so it must have had something to do with the management at “little Kroger.” People hung out in the parking lot, which is always a little intimidating. I do continue to shop at some of the other stores in that center, but the whole area has more of a College Park feel than Peachtree City.

The city fathers and mothers really need to get back to the business of making all of our villages and their outlets updated, refreshing and viable. Whoever owns these centers should be held to a certain standard so that they are not allowed to go seedy. There is also a huge difference in using the recreational facilities at Glenloch versus those at Kedron. Same thing with the shopping venues. Someone still pays attention at Kedron. Many of the others are just falling apart, which the city’s village concept should be addressing..

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 02/11/2010 - 8:04pm.

Not interesting, just long.

Newsflash dude. The city fathers and mothers set standards when something is built. They regulate signs and traffic after that and not much else. The good old free market regulates the shopping center's success.

Not sure we need the city to put more restrictions on failing shopping centers, but if that's what you meant - just butt out. If not - thanks for your support.

BTW, is anybody else unhappy that the PTC super duper landscaping requirements create unsafe traffic conditions. Prime example is trying to turn left out of Home Depot and not being able to see in either direction because of the shrubs in the median. How does that help, David?

Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Thu, 02/11/2010 - 2:09am.

My son worked there, the store was a joke. It was mostly a hang out for kids whos parents wanted their spolied PTC brats to hang, so they wouldn't be around the house. the store management was lacking in all aspects.

When it closed it doors, it was Krogers on lack of support and failure to hire the right people that caused it to fail.

opustv's picture
Submitted by opustv on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 5:01pm.

Yes it is a little hard to imagine but Apple is looking for a south Atlanta location for an Apple store (the most profitable retailer in the US). We are sort of halfway between Newnan and Fayetteville, have fairly decent local demographics as far as technology consumers are concerned and we sure could use a retailer that pulls from more than one zip code. People would drive up from Macon or Auburn to get to an Apple store. That space is exactly the square footage they are looking for (store plus training center). Anyone at the Development Authority spoken to Cupertino lately?

Submitted by Lynx on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 2:42pm.

What we need at that location is a grocery store not another retail store. Do you really know what you are talking about? Haven't you had to go get something quick and had to go to either Kroger at 74 and Parkway or Publix on 54? That location serves a lot of PTC and a grocery store is what needs to go back in that location, not a specialty retail store.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 4:24pm.

I think you are both wrong here.

How many grocery stores have already gone out of business in that exact location? I used to enjoy the convenience of the baby Kroger as well but there is just to much overhead on a building that size to be supported solely on 3 or 4 item sales and it not big enough to attract people who want to do there "real" grocery shopping.

The Apple Store. Apple is a great company and they have developed a huge cult-like following. However, that is a very specific specialty market and for it to survive with that much overhead it needs to an area with a very high population density. While financially Fayette County residents do pretty well there doesn't isn't that many of us compared to areas on the north side of Atlanta.

G35 Dude's picture
Submitted by G35 Dude on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 2:51pm.

Actually I think an Apple store would do well there. After all how many Apple stores do we have in Fayette County? 0 since Computer Advantage is moving to Newnan. How many grocery stores do we have in PTC? 6 - 8? Yes I see the need for another one. (Sarcasm off)

Submitted by mar66cla on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 12:56pm.

I think Aldi's would do well in that location. Retired people love Aldi's and we have a lot of them here in PTC. But all the Aldi's I've seen are in stand alone buildings.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 3:07pm.

Some look down their nose at Aldi's--I know some folks who drive from Columbus to Fayetteville every week to shop because `1: They like the products and 2: They're convinced it's much cheaper than any other store.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 3:14pm.

Aldi's must be giving some pretty serious discounts to justify that drive and the cost of gas that goes with it.

I work in local retail and I have noticed recently that a lot of my customers are from Columbus and they drive all the way up here to shop. What's up with that? I appreciate the business and all but you would think that there would be plenty of places to shop there.

Submitted by RKS on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 10:55am.

...but yet you all think we should put one in Fayetteville in the old Linens n Things? Nope, if it's not good enough for PTC, then it shouldn't be good enough for Fayetteville. I think a Trade Joe's needs to go in the Big Star location....just the right size and I would shop there weekly instead of driving to downtown Atlanta.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 12:11pm.

No one officially said no to the Goodwill in PTC. Residents of PTC got upset and vocal and the parties involved backed down. If the residents of Fayetteville don't want the Goodwill they could try and do the same. However, I don't think that they would have the same kind of leverage. In PTC we at least had a little control over Kroger. I don't know who you could threaten or boycott in Fytvl.

Submitted by 4153 on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 11:57am.

peachtree city people think they are to rich to shop at Goodwill it seems nothings good enough for Peachtree city people

bassfishga's picture
Submitted by bassfishga on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 6:31am.

Food Lion, there is another one in the county. They took the old Winn Dixie that was closed for years and now has one of the best looking grocery stores in the county.

Submitted by 4153 on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 11:50am.

just go to Newnan there are 2 Food Lion stores

Submitted by RKS on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 10:57am.

I have been in that store twice...their prices are outrageous...never anyone in won't last long. The are insanely overpriced on EVERYTHING.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 8:16am.

I'll let you in on a little secret; that store is actually located in Clayton County.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 8:40am.

Cy, you're right, but it's got a Fayette address because of the Postal Zones.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 8:36am.

In that case, the best store in Clayton county must be Super H Mart. And the best store in Metro Atlanta is the Dekalb Farmer's market.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 7:01am.

You all need to get used to the idea that we don't need another food store for the number of people we have living here. There are 4 within 5 miles of the center of town - which I think is the library and city hall.

Whole Foods is upper end and Peachtree City has only had upper end demographics on paper. Our actual shopping habits do not support upper end retail and certainly not gourmet food shopping. That combined with the economy and the size of the Baby Kroger space will keep that place empty for some time. Maybe Aldi - a discount grocery store, but that's the only thing that would work.

Have the Development Authority contact them.

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