The Kroger supermarket at 725 Ponce de Leon Avenue in Poncey-Highland, Atlanta has been popularly known as Murder Kroger for two decades. Since 2014, the store has been refurbished and promoted as BeltLine Kroger by the owners. The store opened in 1984 and is considered a local landmark. Murders took place in the parking lot in 1991 and 2015. In 2002, an odorous corpse was found in a vehicle. On Friday, January 15, 2016, Kroger announced that the location would be demolished in favor of a new location as part of mixed-use development incorporating office space and expanded parking.
An article in Creative Loafing called the store "one of the city's quirky charms that Atlantans seem to both love and hate at the same time". It opened shortly after 1986, when low-interest government loans were used to convert the adjacent and former Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant into lofts and commercial spaces. From the 1990s, and until at least 2002, the store had drivers license renewal services. In 2002 the store tested scan-it-yourself checkout devices. After two Publix supermarkets opened nearby, the store was refurbished around 2002. The closest neighboring Kroger, near Little Five Points, is the area's top performing one, as of 2006.
In October 1999, a man robbed the Bank of America inside the store. A song titled "Murder Kroger" by the group Attractive Eighties Women, which incorporates a mention of the nearby Clermont Lounge into the lyrics, is dedicated to shoppers who frequent the store. Renovations were scheduled for completion in November 2014 at the market, including a bike/pedestrian ramp to the Atlanta BeltLine's Eastside Trail, a bike repair station, new curbs and sidewalks (including paved sidewalk access to Ponce de Leon Avenue), new trees and landscaping, a "water quality pond" in the parking lot to filter runoff, new LED parking lot lighting and repaving the front and back parking lots.
Murders and corpse
- In 1991, a 25-year-old woman, Cynthia Prioleau, died after a shooting in the parking lot. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution attributed the nickname "Scary Kroger" to the store because of the event. The murder remains unsolved.
- In August 2002, a strong odor raised the suspicions of a woman who reported her findings to police; a dead man was in a car in the parking lot.
- In 2012, a 20-year-old male junior at Georgia State University, Lee Lowery, was murdered just inside the Ford Factory Lofts, which shares a parking lot with Murder Kroger.
- On March 10, 2015, Joshua R. Richey was shot in the chest beside the Kroger building, and died.
- "Store Details". Kroger. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- Thomas Wheatley (April 6, 2011). "Murder Kroger to get a makeover? Grocer says 'no'" Creative Loafing. Accessed September 12, 2013.
- Murder at Atlanta Kroger highlights perception, reality of crime WXIA 11Alive. March 11, 2015 Archive URL
- "'Beltline Kroger'? Atlanta grocery store could get new nickname", 11 Alive (NBC Atlanta), August 15, 2014
- "Police investigate shooting at Northeast Atlanta Kroger". Atlanta, GA: WSB-TV. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- LAW & ORDER: [Metro Edition] The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 04 Aug 2002: F.8.
- Enterprise THE BUSINESS OF THE CITY Kroger spreads wings downtown The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution (pre-1997 Fulltext) [Atlanta, Ga] 29 Aug 1996: D.04.
- Q & A ON THE NEWS Bessonette, Colin. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 01 Jan 1997: A.02.
- 2002 ULTIMATE GUIDE: SOUTH METRO: YOUR GOVERNMENT: [Home Edition] The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 25 July 2002: GD.24.
- Ready to check out? Do it yourself: [Home Edition] DeGross, Renee. The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 14 July 2001: A.1.
- GROCERY GLADIATORS: Kroger, Publix raise the stakes No. 1, No. 2 go all out as new rivals invade: [Home Edition] DeGross, Renee. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 12 May 2002: Q.1.
- Unusual firm opens 'big boxes' intown: Persistence, flexibility and money are key: [Main Edition] WALTER WOODS, PATTI BOND. The Atlanta Journal - Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 12 Nov 2006: D.1.
- LAW AND ORDER: [Home Edition 1] The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 09 Oct 1999: F; 6.
- "Murder Kroger" Attractive Eighties Women (live). Accessed September 14, 2013.
- CityLights A weekly column of this and that: [Home Edition] The Atlanta Journal the Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta, Ga] 24 Aug 2000: JD; 1.
- Lee Lowery remembered for bright smile, big heart 12-13-2012. The Southerner Online. Archive URL
- Officials ID construction worker killed confronting man in Kroger lot Tuesday, March 10, 2015. AJC.com
- Marketplace and WABE audio coverage (3 min 6 sec)