Kroger explores rooftop parking for Euclid Avenue store

ssloan@herald-leader.com,By Scott SloanJune 30, 2011 

Kroger plans to demolish its current building on Euclid Avenue and rebuild, expanding vertically to add a basement storage and parking spaces on the roof.

DAVID PERRY | STAFF

Kroger is brainstorming ways to remodel its Euclid Avenue location to add more space, and in doing so, is considering making it a grocery unlike any other in the chain. What would make it so different? Rooftop parking.

The Lexington store, which has operated in the same space since 1976, is too small at 38,000 square feet, the company says.

"We simply are not able to provide all the products and services that our customers deserve," said Kroger spokesman Tim McGurk, noting the redesigned grocery could nearly double that size.

McGurk said an idea the company's real estate managers has discussed is extending the store forward toward the road and offering rooftop parking in place of surface parking spots.

"The intent is for this to be unlike any other Kroger store," he said. "We foresee it being very pedestrian-friendly with streetscape and architectural styling that will complement the neighborhood."

McGurk said no renderings exist, as the idea is "very preliminary."

The proposed expansion would allow more space for organic products, deli, bakery, meat, seafood, produce and specialty items, he said. A near doubling of the store would boost its employee count from 130 to about 190, he estimated.

McGurk said the redesign is a multiyear process with no end date established. In fact, just last year, the store underwent an update inside that included installing new coolers and a new customer service counter, and replacing the interior décor.

Despite the uncertainty, area business owners are abuzz about the possible upgrade.

"They're coming with a very open process," said Bill Farmer Jr., a partner in nearby Farmer's Jewelry. He was among members of the area's business owners association who were briefed on the possible redesign by a Kroger representative at a recent meeting.

"We're excited," he said, "about the opportunity for Kroger to have a higher profile in Chevy Chase."

Reach Scott Sloan at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

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