“It's going to be a Super Kroger,” said John Curtis, Perkins Township's chief building official and zoning inspector.
The company is keeping its plans mostly under wraps, but the owner of the West Perkins Avenue building — the Didion family — has said the expansion should add about 15 percent more space to the facility, which is already at least 60,000 square feet.
The building will expand east toward Campbell Street, but any details beyond that are unknown, as Curtis refused to provide documentation on the plans Monday evening.
The Erie County auditor's website values the property at $4.42 million.
While construction plans are still in the early stages, the grocery retailer has already received the township's approval for a permit to expand the parking lot. Kroger plans to start working on the project this summer.
Erie County commissioner Bill Monaghan said the news is exciting for the community.
“That will give the people of Sandusky another option so they do not always have to run to Meijer,” Monaghan said. “Now they will have something in town.”
In addition to adding retail space, the company is also revamping the store's interior, said Kevin Didion, of the Didion family.
In the short-term the project will certainly create construction jobs, although in the long-run it could mean more permanent jobs, Monaghan said.
“It will immediately add construction jobs and maybe Kroger will hire more people for the store,” Monaghan said.
At the moment, officials at Kroger said they have no definitive plans to share.
“We are working with the city of Sandusky to find a way to better serve our customers," said Jackie Siekmann, spokeswoman for Kroger. "At this time, we are doing our due diligence in an effort to secure the best scenario for Kroger and our customers.”
The expansion is likely part of the company's corporate growth strategy.
About four months ago, Kroger executives unveiled plans to grow its brands. The chain employs 339,000 people in 2,425 supermarkets and stores in 31 states. Many of the stores operate under the Kroger brand, although others include City Market, Dillons, JayC, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs, and Smith's.
Kroger's leadership has already highlighted business opportunities they hope to pursue beyond the traditional supermarket, including discount stores and pharmacies.
In addition to expanding its store base and its market reach, Kroger is pursuing other initiatives to drive growth, opening new customer channels such as digital and mobile platforms. It's also working on new store formats to provide greater access and shopping flexibility, the company has stated in press releases.