UPDATE 9/13/12 @ 10:05 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Construction should begin soon at the Kroger store at Ashton Place in Charleston.
The Board of Zoning approved a parking variance at its Thursday meeting, allowing the project to move forward. A business is normally required to have four parking spaces for everything 1,000 square feet. Kroger's expansion project would only have about 3.6 spaces.
The store plans to expand its floral, produce, frozen food, bakery and deli departments inside, which could also bring at least 50 more jobs to the area.
There's also plans to add a Wi-Fi lounge at the Ashton Place location.
Back in August, Charleston City Council passed a bill that allows the city to sell city property around the store -- essentially making room for the renovation.
No word on when construction will get underway or be finished.
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Charleston City Council passed a bill that allows Mayor Danny Jones to sell city property around the store -- essentially making room for the renovation.
In addition to expansion, Kroger plans to add a Wi-Fi lounge. As many as 50 new jobs are expected to be created.
It represents a big project with even bigger rewards.
"They're investing in Charleston and during these particular times, it's just real gratifying to have them come and invest here and build this new expansion," Charleston City Councilwoman Jack Harrison said.
Harrison said the Ashton Place Kroger approached the city years ago about expanding.
But now two bills have passed to get the project moving, one of which is the sale of city property to Kroger. That will allow the store to build out.
"This is what we're talking about, where the new expansion will go,” Harrison said. “This is the employee parking lot that you have here. And the new addition will encompass this entire area, so you can see it's going to be a pretty large expansion."
The plan doesn’t stop there. The store wants to expand its floral, produce, frozen food, bakery and deli departments inside, which could also bring more jobs to the area.
It’s a move shoppers also are excited about.
"I've experienced Kroger in not only this one but others in this immediate area, plus out of state,” shopper Tom Bailey said. “And this has to be the best Kroger in the whole chain of Kroger stores, at least in my opinion."
It's a store shoppers and city leaders said will only get better. Harrison said 25,000 cars go in and out of its parking lot every day, and he expects that number to grow with the completed expansion, allowing the city to also cash in.
Harrison said he isn’t sure when construction will start.
The project is expected to cost about $10 million.
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