Loveland Reporter-Herald

Johnstown approves Kroger incentives

- By Ken Amundson Bizwest/reporter-herald This article was first published by Bizwest, an independen­t news organizati­on, and is published under a license agreement. © 2023 Bizwest Media LLC.

With just a single question asked, the Johnstown Town Council approved an incentive agreement with the Kroger Co. Monday night to establish an ecommerce fulfillmen­t center in the community.

Councilmem­ber Vanessa Dominguez asked whether the operation might provide a larger variety of foods suitable for people with food allergy issues.

The answer: yes, over time. The issue before the council was whether to extend a personal property tax exemption and a rebate of building permit fees to Kroger if it establishe­s the fulfillmen­t center by mid-year 2023 and hires at least 100 people by June 30, 2024. Kroger is well on the way to meeting those terms.

Chad Garcia, who represente­d Kroger at the meeting, said the company plans to officially open the center by Feb. 22.

The center will be located in one of the three buildings under constructi­on at Trade@2534, which is just south of U.S. 34 and east of the Scheels sporting goods store.

Garcia noted that the Johnstown center will be part of a hub and spoke design, and the facility may take the name of either Noco Spoke or Johnstown Spoke.

When a customer orders food via the Kroger app, it comes out of the Denver hub location — called “the shed” by Kroger.

The shed contains the equivalent of 26 brick and mortar Kroger grocery stores, Garcia said. Refrigerat­ed trucks bring the food north to the spoke location, and it is distribute­d to households from there.

The hub and spoke system “has been around about two years” for Kroger, he said.

The town council voted unanimousl­y, with council member Jesse Molinar Jr. absent, to approve the incentives.

If Kroger meets the terms, it will receive a 50% reduction in personal property taxes for 10 years and a one-time 75% rebate of building permit fees paid during the constructi­on phase, town economic developmen­t manager Sarah Crosthwait­e told the council. She also said that Larimer County has offered workforce services as part of the deal.

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