060617-blm-biz-1kroger

This June 5, 2017, file photo shows the proposed site of a new Kroger store on College Avenue in Bloomington. 

MARIA NAGLE, Pantagraph file photo

BLOOMINGTON — Construction of a new Kroger Marketplace store in northeast Bloomington remains on hold pending further analysis.

"We have reduced the pace of construction around the country," said Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson in an email Friday.

"Our analysts are now reviewing plans to see whether the original expectations meet new projections," he added. "So, we can describe the Bloomington project as 'on hold' until the analysis is complete."

The news comes on the heels of Kroger's announcement of plans to close two stores in Peoria.

Friday's email did not cite a time frame for when the store might open.

Kroger had planned to close its store at 1550 E. College Ave. in Normal because its site was too small to accommodate expansion and to open a larger, 128,000-square-foot store on vacant land a few blocks away at College Avenue and Susan Drive in Bloomington.

In December 2016, the Bloomington City Council approved changes to a previous economic incentive agreement with The Kroger Co.

The biggest change was in the timeline. Construction was expected to start on or before Dec. 31, 2016, but Kroger changed that date to on or before Jan. 31, 2018. 

The company also changed the amount of land it planned to acquire from 17.5 acres to 16.4 acres and reduced its total expected investment from $25.7 million to $24.5 million.

Kroger Limited Partnership I purchased the land on Feb. 21, 2017, from Sunrise Co. LLC, James Shirk manager, for $4.6 million, according to McLean County property records.

Because Kroger's investment decreased, the city decreased its financial assistance, in the form of sales tax rebates, from $2.57 million to $2.45 million over 10 years.

Follow Maria Nagle on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle

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