Kroger is closing its Old Louisville location at 924 S. 2nd St. after 37 years, further feeding the need for more grocery stores in Louisville’s urban neighborhoods. There is one in a long list of grocery stores that have been closing in the urban service area.
The property owner State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio plans to sell the nearly 1.5-acre property and would not continue leasing the building to Kroger. The listing price is $1.6 million. Kroger will continue to lease the property on a year-to-year basis, but doesn’t want a long term lease. All of the store’s 90 employees will be offered jobs at other Louisville Kroger locations for the same pay and benefits they were receiving.
Louisville leaders have spoken to Kroger officials about helping the Cincinnati-based grocery company find a new property in Old Louisville, James said. The city has expressed to Kroger from more than one angle that that Kroger’s is very important to the fabric of our community. Kroger officials said they were willing to discuss the possibility of opening a new location in Old Louisville.
The loss of the Old Louisville Kroger will loom large as it is one of only a few groceries near the Central Business District, which itself lacks any grocery stores. We are talking about getting people to move downtown and to Old Louisville, and without a grocery store, that is not very convenient. Having a grocery store downtown is key to urban living.
The Kroger closing at 2nd Street – making the West Louisville FOOD DESERT (crisis) even more severe. My proposal is for business, city, and West Louisville community leaders to sponsor a project to create a Real Estate Crowdfunding campaign to purchase the property at the old Winn Dixie location. The Oak Street Corridor has already had millions of dollars of private investment and would only increase the value of the public-private investment in the Oak Street Corridor.
The engagement generated by this ‘anchor’ initiative could be a launch-pad for essential community collaboration needed to further revitalize West Louisville (and urban areas throughout the country). We can develop a strong real estate crowdfunding plan to help the community and city purchase the old Winn Dixie building that is in the center of a community redevelopment from the Oak Street corridor to GenScape on Garvin.