New Kroger could open this time next year at Cloverleaf Mall - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

New Kroger could open this time next year at Cloverleaf Mall

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - You could see a new Kroger store where the old Cloverleaf Mall used to be sooner than planned. Chesterfield County said it's overcome major economic hurdles to put the project on the fast track.

Chesterfield supervisors today approved the financial and real estate papers, paving the way for demolition this fall. Phase one is a flagship Kroger store. We could see it open a couple months earlier than expected.

A 123,000 square foot Kroger store is closer to reality at the former Cloverleaf Mall. Right now, Chesterfield is going through some final closing steps similar to a new home buyer's experience.

"This is the last approval the board will have to make for the real estate closing documents and also executing the final financial documents," said Senior Budget Analyst, Matt Harris.

But Harris said financing phase one: the 22 million dollar Kroger project hasn't been easy in a weak economy.

"It's just become harder for everyone whether it be a homeowner going out and getting a traditional mortgage or in this case a developer trying to get a construction loan to build a shopping center type thing," said Harris.

But Harris said demolition is slated for October. Harris said market conditions have improved enough in recent weeks to put the project on the fast track.

The county converted to a short term financial arrangement. Harris said selling bonds isn't on the table, for now.

"The borrowing cost to be dramatically reduced for everyone involved and allows the timetable to be sped up dramatically," said Harris.

Harris said Kroger wants to open its doors this time next year and this financial structure would keep that goal on target.

We reported this summer it wouldn't open until next November.

"This time next year we'll be scheduling a ribbon cutting there for the largest Kroger on the east coast," said Harris.

Harris tells me it will eventually look into switching to a long term financial arrangement.

The county expects to close on the real estate transaction next week. 

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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