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LAMBERTVILLE — Kroger Co. plans to greatly expand its store at the corner of Secor and Sterns roads, making it the first of the company's Marketplace stores in the Toledo area and the only one in Michigan. It also will expand the list of items for sale.
The project will nearly double the size of the store to 133,000 square feet from its current 68,000 square feet.
It will mean more jobs at the store but how many is unknown, Kroger spokesman Jackie Siekmann said.
"The store has done great business. It only makes sense to expand," she said.
The Marketplace stores are Kroger's biggest, and combine a grocery with a home store selling furniture, rugs, small appliances, cookware, and bed and bath merchandise.
Ms. Siekmann said the expanded store will have a "bistro" area with a coffee, beverage, and olive bar and made-to-order sandwiches, and a new perishables department offering a wider selection of fresh produce.
These changes are incorporated into a first phase of the project, which also includes tearing down the vacant Sweet Feed Co. building next door, which Kroger bought last year.
Ms. Siekmann said Kroger's goal was to have the first phase of the project done by November or December.
A second phase will add the furniture store to the rear and east of the existing building.
The expanded Kroger also will include a Fred Meyer Jewelers, a chain owned by Kroger. The whole project is to be completed by summer 2013.
Ms. Siekmann said there are seven Kroger's Marketplace stores in the company's Columbus division, which has 125 stores — six in the Columbus area and one in Mansfield, Ohio.
Kroger opened its first Marketplace store in 2004 in Columbus.
The grocer is soliciting bids for the Lambertville project and won't know the final cost until they are in, Ms. Siekmann said.
"We're just excited because renovations like this change the entire feel of the store," she said.
In 2005, Kroger opened a store on Suder Avenue in Toledo's Point Place that carried office and home furniture, and had a section with everyday and gourmet kitchen merchandise and small appliances, a bar with 18 varieties of olives, and a Starbucks coffee stand.
At the time, its 81,000 square feet was nearly double the size of an average Kroger store. Ms. Siekmann said the Suder Avenue store was not a Marketplace store, although it did have more product offerings than the average Kroger.
A Marketplace store, she said, is defined by its significantly larger square footage, and sells bedding and bath items, pillows, lamps and vacuums, whereas other stores do not have the space to sell such a complete lineup of home goods.
The interior of the Sterns Road store will be illuminated with skylights and lighting fixtures that dim or increase in intensity automatically. The floor will be a polished brown concrete.
The township planning commission approved the final site plan for the project in March, said Dennis Jenkins, Bedford's planning and zoning coordinator.
This approval expired after six months, however, and was then resubmitted. The planning commission approved it again Jan. 11.
Mr. Jenkins said Kroger wanted to start work by April 1.
Chris Renius, the township assessor, said it was too early to know how the expanded store would affect the valuation of Bedford's property tax base.
Business writer Jon Chavez contributed to this report.
Contact Carl Ryan at: email@example.com or 419-724-6095.