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Task force forms to find tenant for Kroger building
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A taskforce has formed to find suitable new tenants for the current Kroger location in Dawson County.

Kroger announced last year plans to relocate the store to the new Dawson Marketplace, a large retail development just south of North Georgia Premium Outlets.

The grocer will be vacating the existing 71,000 sq. ft. facility later this year when the new 124,000 sq. ft. building is complete.

"Everyone involved in the new project recognized that there would need to be a new tenant for the old Kroger location when the store moved," said Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County.

Auvermann, with input from the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and the county's planning department, is leading the charge to find the tenant.

He said the development authority recognized last year the need to have a consolidated effort to locate possible new tenants.

Since forming in the fall, the property has been shown to a number of interested parties.

The task force consists of experienced property management professionals from Kroger, the authority, the Shopping Center Group, which is a national retail search company that specializes in expansion of new retail centers and the backfill of new tenants into existing retail centers, and the owners of the current Kroger center.

"It is in the best interest of everyone involved to find a suitable long-term anchor tenant for the existing location at the intersection of Hwy. 53 and Ga. 400." Auvermann said.

In December, a judge ratified an agreement between the development authority and Kroger that will give the company some tax relief once the new store opens. The arrangement was also a guarantee that the grocer will build the company's new flagship Marketplace store in Dawson County.

Auvermann said the grocer was also considering a number of location options, "all of which would have meant that they would no longer have a store in Dawson County."

The county, according to projections, can expect to see in excess of $450,000 annually in additional tax income from the new larger, Kroger store.

The Dawson site will join a handful of the company's new super stores that are located in select communities across the State of Georgia. The overall center is a Blanchard Real Estate Development Inc. project.

"We are thrilled that Dawson County has been selected as a site for one of Kroger's new super Marketplace stores. Still we also recognize the need to fill their old location with a quality store that continues to support the economic growth of that intersection," Auvermann said.

"All of us on the site task force see that as a priority."