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.”

Comments (9)
  1. Trademark Applicat says:

    City officials sent Kroger packing on Tuesday when the Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny a special land use permit for a $16 million store on Main Street.

    The formal vote was taken a month after plan commissioners said the 49,700-square foot project didn’t meet the city’s master plan vision of keeping the downtown character along Main by providing storefront continuity.

  2. Kirsten Lyons says:

    I applaud the commission for sticking to their plan, even when it could have meant easy money in the short term.

  3. Sally says:

    What a stupid move. A quality grocery store close to families with a pedestrian focus More jobs. A business paying taxes and employing residents. I think the regular Kroger store format is fine. Royal Oakians are not special. Their city is not special. They are regular people and if I still lived there, I would be irate that the Planning Commission let this opportunity get away. I for one do not like the uppity stores because I purchase the common man’s food. In other words, I eat lettuce not arugula

  4. patriot1030 says:

    Royal Oak has got to be one tough place to do business. Years ago Oakland Community College had trouble getting approval to build. Now it is recognized as a great move that spurred the regrowth of this area. But the city Fathers at that time were worried that students would bring problems of drugs, alchohol, and god forbid parking problems and initially were against the change. They still resist change.

  5. Art of Royal Oak says:

    Gee, the mayor and the planning commission must have been asleep when the okay to build the new Emagine Theater was built. Hardly any of the “visions” of the “Master Plan” were followed. It doesn’t promote a walkable Royal Oak, in fact it has turned out that the city has restricted foot traffic. I certainly doesn’t promote an Urban look, much more a Suburban look, which is what the heck Royal Oak is…its a suburb darn it. It does not blend well with the area, well let me see, what does blend well, maybe another bar or a fast food place.
    Just where are you going to find a retailer that wants to fight a city that has no
    direction from its leaders. Say one thing Mr. Mayor and then, well, except for Emagine Theater.

  6. Art Again says:

    So the elitist planning commission is acting like they have 2 or 3 retailers willing to shell out 16 to 18 million dollars to satisfy the blind visions of the master plan. This Kroger store could have been the spark to ignite a whole north Main Street revival.
    We now have bars, a few dumpy stores, some nice businesses and three (3) large empty sore spots that nobody has an answer for. It will look urban (as in decay).alright.
    This has been YEARS looking like a dump. Your giving Preserve Royal Oak just what they want. NOTHING! Get off your hind ends, go plead with Kroger to consider Royal Oak again. Because if not them…who?

  7. Kim Zuchora says:

    Keep trying Art Again!!! Others probably feel the same!!! Dilapidated and empty lots could be reduced!

  8. calhoun says:

    Aren’t these the same aholes that tried to make a woman remove a boxed garden from her front yard?

  9. mike says:

    Interesting article on new a Krogers in the Short North district in Columbus, Ohio.

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