ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – The long battle over bringing a Kroger store to Royal Oak is now history. WWJ’s Rob Sanford said in the end, the opposition won.
The Royal Oak Planning Commission Tuesday night voted unanimously to shoot down a special land use permit that would have paved the way for a new $16 million Kroger Store on Main Street.
In the end, it was felt the nearly 50,000 square foot proposal was not compatible with the city’s master plan to maintaining its downtown character.
Kroger had proposed a store that was more pedestrian-friendly and smaller than many of their regular locations. Mayor Jim Elison said the commission, which he’s a member of, had asked Kroger for a more urban design, similar to Kroger stores in Birmingham and Grosse Pointe.
The city says Kroger’s plan didn’t meet the city’s downtown vision, while supporters had hoped the grocer would bring jobs and business to the area.
The site, a block north of 11 mile road, used to be a car dealership. The developer told the Daily Tribune he met with Kroger officials in late July, but they wouldn’t budge from their original plan.
Elison said it wasn’t easy turning down a project that would add to the tax base but “if it’s not the right project, it’s not the right project.”