New grocery store means economic boost for the area

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LAKELAND, Tenn. -- A new grocery store is about to move into the area. City leaders in Lakeland aren’t naming the store yet, but the Memphis Business Journal is reporting the upscale chain known as “Sprouts Farmers Market” has leased a former Kroger on Highway 64, with a second location likely planned.

The building is empty right now, but it won't be like this in the spring. The city manager says when the doors open, people will feel the economic impact.

The new grocery store is going to be the first of its kind in the state.

Linda Rowell lives in Lakeland and drives by the building almost every day. She says she's tired of driving a by a building with nothing in it.

" Oh sure I don't like to see empty stores because this will be jobs for people and when you see stores empty like this, that means nobody is working in there,” she said.

City leaders in Lakeland are trying to bring as many businesses to the area as possible. Although they can't name the store just yet, they expect it to bring in about the same amount of tax dollars that the old Kroger did when it was based in that building.

"About $250,000 or $300,000 in sales tax revenue. It will help us with roads, building a new school so it would be a great boost for our economy out here,” said city manager Chris Thomas.

For so long, Jim Rinehart traveled other places to do his grocery shopping.

"I just hate for my tax dollars not to go to the city of Lakeland where I live,” he said.

The building was home to Kroger before it closed three years ago.

Although the new Kroger is across the street, people who live there say having more places to do their shopping gives them hope for their town.