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City and county leaders address WL Pay Less parking lot concerns

A West Lafayette grocery store parking lot is going through a lot of changes, but not everyone is happy about the progress.

Posted: Mar. 29, 2018 3:52 PM
Updated: Mar. 29, 2018 5:21 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A West Lafayette grocery store parking lot is going through a lot of changes, but not everyone is happy about the progress.

Some people News 18 spoke with worry that it won't go away once work wraps up.

"It's just inconvenient now," said Pay Less shopper Tom Speaker. "That's just the way it is."

A redesign of West Lafayette's Pay Less parking lot has a lot of customers concerned about the finished product.

Development director Erik Carlson said the frustration has not gone unnoticed.

"We've had people that are concerned and frustrated with the condition of the parking lot, and that's to be expected," said Carlson. "They're still in the middle of a major construction project."

That includes a fear of less parking spots for a store that's expanding by about 25,000 square feet.

"They're going to have more people coming in and I think it's going to be more difficult to find parking places and get in and out," said Pay Less shopper Joy Caskey.

Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission Assistant Director Ryan O'Gara said that's not the case.

He said the new lot will have 43 additional spots. Although it must meet the city's green space requirements, the overall design, including number of spaces, was a decision by Kroger.

"They came to us with this number and they said, 'Based on the stores of similar size and similar markets in their region, this is an appropriate range of parking'," O'Gara said.

The APC partnered with the city to approve the design and recommended it to the city council. The council then gave the final go ahead.

"It's not our design," said Carlson. "It was their design, and we also don't think there's anything wrong with the design at this point."

If the progress wraps up and people find themselves unhappy with the final product, any changes are up to the property owner and Kroger.

"It would be a very simple process, but it is generated by the ownership," O'Gara explained. "The city, the Area Plan Commission, we can't force anybody to do a change to their plan if they're happy with it."

Some shoppers think developers will have to go back to the drawing board.

"I think they'll have to because there's going to be a lot more congestion up here," said Caskey.

But some are more optimistic.

"People are just going to have to put up with the inconveniences for something that is going to be excellent," said Speaker.

Work on the lot is expected to wrap up in late summer or early fall.

Any concerns about the lot can be directed to Kroger's corporate office.

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