Kroger has bought 8.5 acres of former industrial land on Studemont, just south of I-10, the Chronicle‘s Purva Patel reports. The land, which was once part of Houston’s Sixth Ward, sits just north of Arne’s Warehouse and Party Store and across the street from Grocer’s Supply. Kroger closed on the larger portion — a 7.2-acre cleared parcel at 1400 Studewood, listed for sale at $15.7 million — just last week. A spokesperson for the grocery chain wasn’t ready to announce a new store on the site, but did say the company had already taken possession of 1.3 acres just to the south, at 1200 Givens St. If Kroger does build a new supermarket there, the parking lot would have 450 ft. of frontage on Studemont; other industrial properties, many of them accessed from Summer St., would still be sandwiched between it and the Sawyer Heights Target.
When built, this would easily be the closest grocery store to our house; it’s practically walking distance, not that I’d be likely to do so given the current sidewalk conditions and the need to cross under I-10. I’m not sure how much we’d use it anyway – Tiffany is not a big Kroger fan. She hates the Kroger at 11th and Shepherd, even post-renovation. Maybe the convenience factor will sway her, I don’t know.
I foresee issues getting into and out of the place. As it stands now, the only access to it is via Studemont, and I’d only want to access it via the northbound side. Making a left to or from the southbound side will be hairy. Most likely, there will need to be an additional traffic light, probably at the little piece of Summer Street that people use to get to Arne’s. I’m so looking forward to that. (Note: The street sign there actually says Hicks Street; Google Maps labels it as Summer. Just FYI.)
Another issue will be the Party Boy store across the street, especially in the month of October when they’ve got their Halloween haunted house open. It’s a popular attraction and traffic around that time is already pretty bad. Maybe the rebuilt service road on I-10 will provide additional access to that site, which would help.
Speaking of which, I wonder if there would be a way to fit a driveway from the new access road east of Studemont to the eventual Kroger parking lot. That would take some pressure off as well. From the diagram on Swamplot, which shows a little extension of the property behind its neighbor to the north, it looks like it’s at least theoretically possible. I hope someone is thinking about that.
Here’s a Google map of the area. You can approach it from the rear, which is to say from the east on Summer Street, which would mean access from Washington and Center via Oliver Street. It’s a little tricky – after you turn left from Oliver onto Summer, you may have to dodge semi trailers parked along the road as you follow the twisty street, and when you leave you have to turn off before you get to Hicks Street, or you’ll wind up on the overpass above Studemont, with your next opportunity to make a turn at Harvard Street. Alternately, if you start out west of Studemont, you could approach via Hicks and avoid Studemont altogether. I don’t think this will allow for any kind of volume unless some changes are made.
Whatever else happens, I hope one outcome of this is to improve the sidewalk along Studemont between Washington and White Oak. At least then the folks in the Sawyer Heights apartments could take advantage of the nice pedestrian path they’ve included along the new service road.
By the way, I’m hearing that the Target right there in Sawyer Heights is becoming a SuperTarget. So there will be a grocery option there even before the Kroger opens.
Finally, I can’t let this pass without noting that the site in question used to be a warehouse that was once the home of this impressive land shark before it was demolished in 2007. I’d love to know where that shark is today.