Kroger buys Albertsons’ property with plans to remodel

The Albertsons grocery store off the southern edge of campus has been bought out by Kroger and will be renovated and reopened early next year.

Gary Huddleston, director of consumer affairs with Kroger’s southwest division, said Kroger bought the store, located off the northwest corner of South University Drive and Devitt Street, earlier this month for an undisclosed amount.

“We are making a substantial investment in remodeling the store into a Kroger Signature store,” Huddleston said. “Once we take possession of the store early next year we will close it down for remodeling, which should take 8 weeks.”

According to preliminary project documents filed with the city of Fort Worth, TCU Urban Developers, the company that Kroger bought the property from, had planned to build four floors on top of the grocery store for residences. Those plans were scrapped when Kroger bought the property.

The Kroger Signature store will include a soup and salad bar, a sit down deli, a juice bar and a wider range of organic and all-natural products than regular Kroger stores, he said.

“We have not had a store in (the TCU) area, thus we have not done a very good job of serving the TCU community,” Huddleston said. “With this purchase we can better serve the community.”

Students will see a remodeled store with added amenities and Kroger products, he said.

“It will be a totally different store than what the customer sees today,” Huddleston said.

The manager on duty at Albertsons on Wednesday afternoon would not say what would happen to the current employees once the store closes down for remodeling.

Maggie Fulton, a junior early childhood education major, said she usually shops at Tom Thumb or Target unless she’s in a hurry.

“I just don’t think the Albertsons gives you the quality for the price; it just happens to be convenient,” Fulton said. “If Kroger improves the prices and quality of the store, I would shop there more often since it’s so close.”

Stuart Silver, a senior computer science major, said he makes sure he is with his girlfriend if she needs to get something from Albertsons or surrounding stores in the evening.

“It seems like every couple weeks there is a crime alert around campus,” Silver said. “I don’t think it’s smart for girls to be alone off campus at night even if it’s just right across the street.”

Huddleston said Kroger has always taken the safety and security of customers and associates seriously.

“We want to make sure that customers and our associates feel safe coming to the store,” Huddleston said. “At most of our stores we have some type of parking lot security, especially if it’s an area that has had some incidents.”