Work has halted on the 113,000-square-foot Kroger at Buckwalter Place in Bluffton, but a developer for the project said the store will still be built.
Kroger requested a change in size to its layout, said Mark Senn, president of Southeastern, the company developing the site.
“They are looking to see if they want to modify and change some of the floorplan,” Senn said. “We have slowed down as well because we have a culinary school wanting to (be included) into a portion of the project.”
Senn said the contractor for the project was given permission by Southeastern to move to another job until the new designs for the Kroger are finished.
It is very unlikely that Kroger would pull out of the project, Senn said.
“They own it with me,” he said. “They are not just a tenant. It wouldn’t be good for them to move out of a project they are an owner in. It is delayed, yes, but I don’t foresee it being stopped.”
Kroger representatives also have repeatedly said in recent months that they are opening a location at the Buckwalter Place site.
Representatives have said the store will open in summer 2018.
Senn said he does not have a a new construction timeline at this time. He said it is likely he will know about the plan in December.
Construction for the store, along with a mixed-used development to accompany it, was approved by the Town of Bluffton in 2015.
The store is to be one of the company’s “Marketplace” concepts, which will feature upscale amenities such as a drive-thru pharmacy, fuel center, a Fred Meyer Jewelry store, a Starbucks and a “Chef on the Run” service.
An outdoor mall will be constructed around the store and will include retail, restaurants and residential space.