The Kroger store on Euclid Avenue will close at 6 p.m. March 15 so the store can be razed, rebuilt and reopen by the end of the year.
Tim McGurk, spokesman for Cincinnati-based Kroger's Mid-South region, said Thursday that store workers were told that March 15, a Saturday, will be the last day of business. The 125 current employees will be assigned to other locations during construction.
"We will immediately begin taking all the equipment and products out," McGurk said.
He said that clearing everything out will probably take a week or two, and then demolition will begin, probably about April 1.
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"It will move fast," McGurk said. "We hope to reopen by the end of December, before students come back for the 2015 spring semester."
The Euclid Avenue location is near the University of Kentucky's campus; it will expand from 38,000 square feet to 86,000 square feet, with rooftop parking, and have 200 employees.
"It is going to be a one-of-kind store that we will be very proud of, and I think the town will be proud of," McGurk said. "The supportive feedback that we continue to hear from our customers about this store plan has been most gratifying. They are excited about having a modern and unique place to shop in their neighborhood. They are especially excited about the planned rooftop parking, the vastly improved variety throughout the store, and the faster, more convenient checkout. The new facility will truly offer a much improved shopping experience all around."
Neighbors had protested the larger store. Some called it "Fort Kroger" because it would fill most of the lot, which is now surrounded on three sides by parking spaces. Kroger downsized the original store plan by 10,000 square feet to allow a larger easement along Marquis Avenue.
Another concern area shoppers have voiced: getting prescriptions filled.
McGurk said that the Euclid pharmacy will continue to operate while the construction goes on but exact plans for where the temporary pharmacy will go are not set yet.
Kroger has been in negotiations for a site at Euclid and Ashland Avenues, where a Premier Home Video store sits.