The Griffin Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a rezoning request from Sofran Group for a new Kroger off Poplar Street, near Lowe’s, on Georgia Highway 16. Robby Boggs of Sofran said a groundbreaking is planned in January with the new store opening in October 2012.
The development includes a 123,000 square-foot store with 200 to 215 employees. That is an increase of about 70 employees from the existing store on North Expressway. The old Backyard Burgers may also be a part of the development, and a Kroger fueling station is also part of the proposal.
The rezoning changed 5.12 acres from Low Density Residential to Planned Commercial Development. The rezoning also included eight conditions regarding signage, buffers, parking and appearance.
These include planted buffers and a wall to screen the back of the development for the remaining adjacent residential area as well as architectural features to conceal the rooftop equipment. Ground monument signs will be used at the entrances on Highway 16 and Poplar Street.
Griffin Director of Planning and Development Frederick Gardiner said the city and Kroger are working to find a tenant for the North Expressway location. The design of the new store, Gardiner said, will also make it easier to subdivide for multiple tenants in the future.
Boggs agreed to that condition and emphasized that since Kroger will own the building, it will have an interest in selling the building if the store moves. Kroger leases the North Expressway location from Equity Holdings.