CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A big change in plans for the Kroger at the old Cloverleaf Mall. A construction date could be announced this summer. But we've learned that county leaders approved a size increase for the anchor store.
It'll be the largest Kroger in the region at 123,000 square feet. Original plans had the store at 87,000 square feet. County leaders expect to draw customers from Richmond and Chesterfield and people who live nearby can't wait for a grocery store right in their back yard.
Grocery shopping for Susan Lane is a hassle.
"Difficult, you had to plan," said Lane.
Lane lives in a neighborhood behind the old Cloverleaf Mall.
"We've had to go to Food Lion either on Hull Street or all the way down on Midlothian and that was about it.," said Lane.
We took a ride to map out the distance from Cloverleaf to the nearest grocer. To the west, a Martin's is four and a half miles away near Chesterfield Towne Center. A Martin's, Walmart superstore and Food Lion are three miles to the north on Forest Hill.
South of Cloverleaf, you'll travel on Chippenham about three and a half to four miles for Food Lion and Kroger on Hull and a Martin's on Ironbridge.
"It's going to make life easier would you say?" asked NBC12 reporter Tara Morgan.
"Oh yes. That's putting it mildly," replyied Lane.
The new Kroger will offer more than just groceries. The company tells me it'll be a "Marketplace", a first of its kind for Kroger in the Richmond area, where customers will find more home goods, like lighting décor and ready-to-assemble furniture as well as bath and bedding.
They call it a Short Pump caliber store, but much bigger.
"Part of it is it's just a good site. It's a good regional site. This is the largest Kroger store in the mid-Atlantic which is a nice affirmation for the quality of the site," said Tom Jacobson, Revitalization Director for Chesterfield County.
A $62 million development with easy access for drivers on Chippenham and pedestrians along the Midlothian corridor.
"It's providing good services for the community around it which is positive for this area that we are trying to reinvest in and make improvements," said Jacobson.
In addition, the county will beautify and add safety features, like sidewalks, to the Midlothian corridor under a street scape improvement project. That's slated to begin this fall.
"What we need to do is rebuild our older corridors into safe and very attractive business corridor and safe neighborhoods adjacent to them," said Jacobson.
Lane couldn't be more excited.
"What you're talking about would be absolutely paradise for us," said Lane.
The Kroger, which is the first phase of this project, is expected to open in November of next year.