Despite some misgivings, city council members voted 6-1 on Monday to allow the business to offer fuel sales, which is becoming more common for the Ohio-based chain. Only council member Michael Bridges opposed the amendment to a 1983 consent judgment that governs development of the Halsted Village shopping center.
"I have not been convinced" that a gas station belongs on the property, Bridges said before casting his vote.
The proposal puts the Kroger station on the same corner as a Shell gas station, a point of concern expressed during an August study session and Monday's meeting. Council member Randy Bruce said he was "concerned about the look of two gas stations that close to each other."
Bruce also wondered what would happen to the gas station if a new owner took over the store, but Kroger's Michigan real estate manager Tom Frank said the company has an agreement with the shopping center owner to take out the gas pumps and underground tanks is the store leaves.
Officials also added a clear statement in their approval resolution that the gas station is an accessory use tied to the Kroger grocery store.
The plan removes a 12 Mile Road monument sign Kroger had proposed and establishes a line of arborvitae that will hide the station from west-bound traffic. In addition, Kroger will rework the Halsted Road entrance, creating a dedicated left-turn lane.
Kroger customers earn points when they shop for groceries that they can use to get a cheaper price per gallon at the store's pumps. Store officials said adding fuel sales at a store can increase its profits by about 2 percent.