Baby Kroger property’s future unclear after store closesThe Baby Kroger located at 720 Commerce Drive in Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.
This story has been updated.
Decatur, GA — The Baby Kroger in Decatur closed its doors Dec. 2, one of two nick-named Krogers that closed before the end of the year.
The future of the property is still to be determined, according to the city and the property’s owner, Stein Investment Group.
City development officials told Decaturish they don’t know of anything slated for the property. Jason Linscott, a principal with Stein Investment, said the news was as surprising to the company as it was to the public. Linscott said Kroger has two years left on its lease.
“We assumed they were staying for a couple more years at least,” he said, adding later, “I’m surprised. I grew up here in Decatur. I’m super familiar with the store. I thought that would be something they’d want to hang on to in downtown Decatur. Obviously not.”
Linscott said the building could suit a variety of uses.
“It’s a great little building as is,” he said. “There might be great operators who can use that.”
Kroger didn’t immediately confirm whether it intends to break the lease. If it decides to keep the lease, the property could be vacant for a while.
Decatur Planning and Economic Development Director Angela Threadgill said the property is zoned C-2 commercial. Under the city’s zoning code, it can have a variety of uses. Permitted uses include an indoor recreational area, medical offices, a radio and television studio, overnight lodging, a restaurant with a drive-thru, and another retail store.
To see a list of permitted uses for C-2 zoning, click here. (Note: There’s a guide at the bottom that is useful for understanding this zoning chart.)
“I, like a lot of folks in Decatur, am a little disheartened to hear the news about Kroger, but I’m hopeful we will find another grocery store to come in and take its place,” Commissioner George Dusenbury said at the Oct. 17 city commission meeting. “I think that’s very important for downtown Decatur. A lot of folks, particularly seniors, walk there.”
Reporter Zoe Seiler contributed to this article.
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