Fort Wayne could be in line for its third Kroger "marketplace" store.
The Cincinnati-based grocery chain has asked the Fort Wayne Plan Commission for approval to enlarge its 82,050-square-foot facility in the St. Joe Village shopping center at St. Joe Center and Maplecrest roads into a 113,180-square-foot store offering an expanded array of products.
Company spokesman said the project is still in its preliminary stages, awaiting action by the Plan Commission before funding, design and other details are approved.
The company announced last week that its two existing Fort Wayne marketplace stores, in the Village at Coventry in Aboite Township and on Dupont Road, will be shifting from furniture and home decor to clothing. The Dupont marketplace store opened in 2011 and the Coventry location a year later. Kroger announced last week the addition of four similar stores in Fishers, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ind. If the St. Joe store is converted, it will follow that same model, Elliott said.
A mostly empty 20,981-square-foot strip mall attached to the company-Kroger store will be replaced by the larger marketplace facility. New marketplace stores cost about $20 million to build and employ about 350 people.
Improvements to another Kroger store in Fort Wayne are moving ahead regardless of what happens to the St. Joe location, Elliott said.
Starting early next year, the 65,000-square-foot store on North Clinton Street near Coliseum Boulevard will undergo a $5.9 million face lift. The company pledged to upgrade the store following the closure of its smaller North Anthony location in 2012.
The Plan Commission will consider the company's St. Joe proposal next month.