Saturday, December 13, 2003

Will we get a Kroger store on Ohio Pike?



By Dave Hofmeister
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Question: My question concerns the proposed new Kroger on Ohio Pike in the old Van Leunen's building. We have heard that it was a done deal and now it seems to be dead.

What is the possibility of a Kroger superstore at this location?

Jeff Stitt, Pierce Township

Answer: Kroger is negotiating with the owner of the property to put a store on the site once occupied by a Van Leunen's and, later, a Remke supermarket.

Kroger spokesman Art Wulfeck said Kroger has been interested in the site, at Ohio Pike and Bach-Buxton Road, for several years. Like many parts of western Clermont County, the area has seen tremendous residential growth in the past decade.

If a deal is reached, Kroger likely would tear down the old structure and put up a new building. The closest existing Kroger stores, at Cherry Grove Plaza and in Amelia, would not be affected, he said.

Joe Perin, who owns the property, said he also has talked with a group interested in putting a medical center there. He said improvements to Ohio Pike, including turn lanes, likely would come if Kroger builds there.

Q. My property runs along (Ronald Reagan) Cross County Highway. Why there are no highway sound walls along my property as there are along almost the entire rest of the stretch of Cross County? These walls would help with road noise, dust and overgrown weeds and such created by the highway traffic.

Gail McCarthy, Groesbeck

A. There are no plans to build additional sound walls along the Ronald Reagan Highway, according to Ron Mosby, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Transportation's Lebanon office.

The walls usually go up when a road is built, or in some cases, when an interstate highway is expanded, as was the case recently along Interstate 71 in Hamilton County and Interstate 275 in Clermont County.

Mosby said officials take sound measurements, and if the volume of traffic is likely to cause noise problems for nearby residents, then the walls are put up. However, he said, if homes are built after the highway is finished, sound walls become the responsibility of the developer.

And sometimes a wall is not a wall at all. Residents have complained that noise sometimes bounces off barriers and spreads to their neighborhoods.

Q. There is a large gateway on Columbia Parkway, just west of the Red Bank Road exit, that denotes the boundary of the city of Cincinnati. When will landscaping be installed and what are the city's plans to continue the maintenance of this area?

Rob Foster, Columbia Tusculum

A. Bob Richardson, architect for the city of Cincinnati, said the sign was installed as part of improvements to Columbia Parkway about two years ago. Landscaping was included, but the site has suffered because of erosion from the steep hillside.

He said the area was cleaned several weeks ago, and the city has hired a private contactor to maintain the site and restore plantings put there originally. No additional landscaping is planned.

Send questions to dhofmeister@enquirer.com or fax to 513-755-4150.




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