Kroger floats expansion plans for two area stores

Renovations to two Kroger stores in southern Denton County could soon be underway.

Stores located at the intersection of FM 2499 and FM 1171 in Flower Mound and FM 407 in Highland Village are old and in need of upgrades, and if things go as planned, both stores could have gas pumps and other modern amenities by as early as 2013.

Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden said he has been in favor of the renovations from the very beginning.

“This originally came before the town when I was still on the council last year,” Hayden said. “I voted for the project. I support it, and this was something that was discussed during the last election. I wanted us to get the project back on track, because it was something I campaigned on.”

The proposal was initially introduced last fall, but did not pass the town’s planning and zoning commission or town council due to traffic safety concerns.

Hayden said he was not aware of any “verifiable safety concerns,” and said now, the proposal includes even more precautions.

“Some of the things that Kroger has agreed to do to try to address some of those things is to move the island 10 feet farther back from 1171,” Hayden said. “There is a service station on the adjacent corner, and these pumps will actually be farther back than the gas pumps at that station.

“The other thing they are doing is putting in a deceleration lane to help with traffic, which Kroger is paying for, and they are only going to bring their delivery trucks in during off hours. They’ll be in between midnight and 5 a.m.”

The Flower Mound Planning and Zoning Commission, which had denied the gas station last October, approved Kroger’s revised specific use permit for a fueling station and site plan by a vote of 5-1 on Monday night.  It will go to the town council for approval later this month.

Some of the highlights of the improved store include the addition of a pharmacy with a drive-through to replace the current walk-up window, a larger natural foods section, along with enhanced bakery, deli, and upscale wine department, fresh sushi bar and two electric car charging stations.

Hayden said the renovations would benefit the town in a number of ways.

“That Kroger is old and is becoming run down,” Hayden said. “We have a Fortune 100 company that wants to spend 14 million dollars in our town to renovate their store, update it, add conveniences to the store, add over 100 jobs— and that’s good for Flower Mound.”

Hayden added that with stores like Market Street and Tom Thumb moving close in proximity to the Kroger in the near future, the store needs to keep up with the competition.

Highland Village Mayor Patrick Davis agrees that the proposed 3 million dollars in renovations would be good for the Kroger in Highland Village Town Center and said the town is interested in seeing the company’s site plan amendment.

“We are excited Kroger has expressed an interest in expanding their presence in our city,” Davis said.  “Improvements to the store can only benefit the Town Center and the city as a whole. We await the submittal of their plans and look forward to working through the process with them.”

Review of the site plan amendment in Highland Village should occur in July.

As for Flower Mound, Hayden said Kroger’s application should go before the town council on July 16.

“The good news is that when they came before the council to make their presentation, I asked them when they could get this going, because their fiscal year changes,” Hayden said. “They’ve made accommodations that if it is approved by the town council by Aug. 30 that this will be on their 2013 fiscal year, so we won’t have to wait, and hopefully they’ll begin right away.”


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