GAINESVILLE - Nearly four years after the plan first came to light, the massive anchor store at New Holland Marketplace on the east side of Gainesville has opened its doors.
The Gainesville Kroger Marketplace at 123,000 square feet is reported to be the largest Kroger store in the southeastern United States.
Tim Evans, the Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, said at a Wednesday morning ribbon cutting, the opening of the store has been of major interest not just to Hall County residents, but also to those who live in nearby counties.
"We have had calls non-stop at the Chamber about the opening of this new store," said Evans. "We can tell just from the reaction we've had that people are thrilled about having access to this big center - not just the Kroger, the fuel island - but all the things that are in it."
He said county and city leaders have great hopes for the sales tax revenue that will be generated by the new retail complex.
"We know that the city of Gainesville's nighttime population is about 45,000, but during the day out population swells to 120,000 plus. Those people are coming in from surrounding counties to work, and they're going to stop on their way home. If they stop here, rather than stopping...somewhere else in another county...fantastic. We want them to spend their money in Hall County," said Evans.
Evans noted that the store will employ 275 people, both in part-time and full-time positions.
There are nine out-parcels of land at New Holland Marketplace, and at least one of those is being developed with a McDonald's restaurant. A QT gasoline station is being built across Jesse Jewell Parkway from the development. Other retail establishments are planned for the future.