BELLEVILLE — If things work out, the city could get a new supermarket late this year.
The City Council's Economic and Development and Annexation Committee on Wednesday agreed with the Kroger Co. to provide money for demolition and site development at the old Bel-Air Bowl site at the corner of 17th Street and North Belt West.
The city will provide $200,000 in tax increment financing money to help the company build a new Ruler Foods store at the site. TIF districts allow city leaders to use property tax revenue to reimburse developers for infrastructure costs.
Ruler is a division of parent company JayC Food Stores based in Indiana which in turn is owned by the Kroger Co.
The stores in the Ruler chain provide what is called a limited or edited assortment featuring a lot of Kroger brand products, hence their claim, "Measure Your Savings." A spokesman for the company could not be reached for comment.
Mayor Mark Eckert said the agreement has to get approval from the Finance Committee on Jan. 14 and the full City Council on Jan. 21.
But the final decision on whether to build still has to come from Kroger, he said.
But if things work out, the supermarket will be a little more than 19,000 square feet and projected sales will be about $6.5 million per year. In the project agreement, the store promises to create at least 12 full-time jobs in the first year.
The chain normally refits old stores but this will be the first store built by Ruler, Eckert said.
The company asked for the money to help with the site development which will cost more money since it has been vacant for several years, he said.
"They didn't ask for anything else," he said. "Hopefully everything will fall in line. We will be happy to see new activity on that corner."
If the deal proceeds smoothly, site work could began as early as March and the store would be open no later than November.
In other action the committee agreed to provide up to $15,000 to Midwest Plumbing & Backflow Services to complete greenspace and building improvements to the old Hirth Plumbing building in the 100 block of North 15th Street.
Eckert said the owner has put more than $50,000 into improving the property on his own and has made it much more attractive.
The deal also will have to go before the full City Council.
Contact reporter Wally Spiers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2506.