West Chester Township trustees have voted unanimously to put the brakes on a new Kroger Marketplace.
The proposed Crossings at Beckett development would have been located less than a mile down the road from a current Kroger location on Princeton Glendale Road.
After more than a year of heated debate, the piece of land at the corner of State Route 747 and Tylersville Road will stay empty for the time being after the 3-0 vote by trustees.
"We had a lot of time to study it. We had a lot of time to do our research. I think coming to the ultimate conclusion tonight was fairly simple," said George Lang, West Chester Township trustee.
Those in favor of the plan have cited the need for a new Kroger, as well as potential economic benefits. But, all three trustees each cited concerns with the project and it's plan, including completing the second phase and required buffer space around the land.
"Kroger was fine where it was, but the buffer with our neighborhood just to the north didn't seem to be adequate to maintain property values, and maintain safety," said Chris Erickson who lives in West Chester.
Around the proposed area sits a busy intersection, a neighborhood and some schools. The plan for developing that corner lot would have included a Kroger Marketplace and a fuel center, plus other office and retail space in the two-phase plan.
"I think all three of the trustees expressed their concerns, and maybe Kroger and the developer heard those concerns and they can modify their plans and try again," said Lang.
Those living nearby are relieved this plan won't come to fruition. But, they do realize that someday, something else is likely to be built there.
"I would like to see something go in there, but just not something that large. It's a giant big box store," said Marsha Erickson, a West Chester resident.
So, what's next for the corner of Tylersville Road and State Route 747? Officials are confident it won't sit idle much longer.
"This land is going to develop. It may ultimately develop as a Kroger Marketplace. Who knows? But, for us to think that this land is not going to be developed, that's a foolish thought," Lang told FOX19.
FOX19 tried to talk to officials with the developer on this plan, Silverman & Company. They declined comment.
Kroger released a statement on Wednesday, stating:
"Kroger is disappointed in the decision. We were hoping to open a new Kroger West Chester Marketplace store in 2015. We are reviewing our next steps."
If the Kroger Marketplace were built, it would be the second largest one in the state, just behind the location in Centerville.
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