Grocery planned for former Kroger in southeast Raleigh
Posted July 28
Raleigh, N.C. — A discount store chain has purchased the site of a former Kroger supermarket in southeast Raleigh and plans to open a grocery store, officials said Monday.
Variety Wholesales, the chain run by state budget director Art Pope that includes Roses and Maxway stores, is buying the vacant building at 1610 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to provide a grocery store for the community.
Kroger closed the store, along with one at 4111 New Bern Ave., in January 2013, citing below-average sales.
The New Bern Avenue site reopened within a month as a Carlie C’s IGA supermarket, but southeast Raleigh residents and city officials struggled to bring a grocery store back to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Southeast Raleigh is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "food desert," an urban area where the poverty rate is at least 20 percent and at least 33 percent of residents have limited access to a supermarket or large grocery store. After the Kroger store closed, residents had to trek several miles – sometimes on foot, sometimes taking various buses – to get to the nearest supermarket.
Variety Wholesalers bought the property last week for $2.57 million. It has an assessed tax value of $5.65 million.