Town approves Kroger expansion and fuel station

The Flower Mound Town Council unanimously green-lighted a $14.3 million improvement plan Monday for an aging Kroger grocery store at the corner of FM 1171 and FM 2499.

“As a Fortune 500 company, Kroger has many choices when it comes to selecting stores to invest in and I’m glad Flower Mound was one of those locations,” said Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden.

The grocer plans to add 20,000 square feet by bulldozing vacant retail space on the west end of the shopping center and add a fueling station in the parking lot with five gas pumps and two electric car charging stations.

Some of the highlights of the improved store include a new exterior, the addition of a pharmacy with a drive-through to replace the current walk-up window, a larger natural foods section, along with an enhanced bakery, deli, wider aisles, an upscale wine department, fresh sushi bar and new restrooms.

In addition, Kroger will add right turn lanes on FM 2499 and FM 1171 at a cost of $542,000.

Fuel delivery would only take place during non-rush hours outside of 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. in order to not impact traffic in the parking lot, said Kroger spokesperson Nate Collins.

The expansion will create 75-80 new jobs, according to Collins.  Sales tax revenue is expected to balloon by 102 percent annually to $332,000 per year.

Construction is expected to begin this fall and take between nine and 12 months.

“It will help us get better tenants out here. This will be a tremendous asset for the city,” said Herb Weitzman, CEO of The Weitzman Group and Cencor Realty Services.

The proposal to upgrade the store and add gas was initially introduced last fall, but did not pass the town’s planning and zoning commission or town council due to traffic safety concerns.  It subsequently became a major issue in the May election which resulted in a clean sweep of the mayor and two town council members.

“I think the resounding issue of the last election was Kroger and I believe the voters have spoken and sent a message to the community,” said Paul Stone, a 22-year resident.

After the election, Kroger officials came back with a revised specific use permit for a fueling station and site plan which was approved by the planning and zoning commission last month.

“The one thing that I hope that Kroger takes away from this is that the people of Flower Mound really appreciate Kroger being here and we appreciate the tenacity you had on coming back with this application several times,” said Councilman Steve Dixon.

Mayor Hayden said that the store renovation is the start of more good things to come.

“Our residents should be excited as this is one of many projects this council will deliver to our town. We are fully committed to economic development and growing the employment and commercial tax base in Flower Mound.”

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