Spalding University planning to buy former Kroger store on South Second Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former Kroger in downtown Louisville is one step closer to becoming property of Spalding University.

Dozens of neighbors in Old Louisville protested in January over the closing of the Kroger store on South Second Street. Now, nearly four months after the grocery store closed, Spalding University officials say they've reached a verbal agreement to buy the 2.6-acre property for $1.075 million.

The former Kroger store closed its doors back in January. A spokesperson for Spalding University says they have reached a verbal agreement to buy the property. 

"There are some final details being worked out, environmental report being one of those,"said Rick Barney, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer for Spalding. 

Nearly 2,400 students are currently enrolled at Spalding. University officials acknowledge that Kroger was the only grocery store in the neighborhood, so they're willing to try and fill the void by bringing in another grocer.

"It was a concern that we had, because we have a real heart for the people that live in this neighborhood and wanted to make sure that we did something to really support them," said Rush Sherman, Chief Financial Officer at Spalding. "We know the absence of a grocery and a pharmacy has been a stress on the community. To the degree we can be successful in helping our community, we want to do that."

The is no timeframe on when the university will decide on what to do with the property.

"If we decide the University has a need for it, if we're working with different schools and things that are here, and we come up with a need for it, we could keep that building and renovate it," Sherman said. "But, we may just as well decide it works better for the community to be a green space."

Kroger said the building is owned by the Ohio Teachers' Retirement System, and they decided to sell the property instead of continuing the lease with the grocery chain.

The school hopes to close the deal in June or July.

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