New plans for old Pio Nono Kroger to hold storage units and grocery to ease ‘food desert’


Liz Fabian

Proposed new plans for a self-storage facility in the 84,000 sq. ft. old Kroger building now reserve 15,000 sq. ft. of the building for a future grocery store at 400 Pio Nono Ave.

The developer hoping to turn the old Pio Nono Avenue Kroger into storage units is not giving up.

Axela Development Group is asking for a rehearing before the Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning Commission after carving out 15,000 sq. ft. of the 84,000 sq. ft. building for a potential grocery store.

The request states that the commission denied the original conditional use application on Jan. 27 “in large part because of a lack of community support for the proposed redevelopment due to it not solving the ‘food desert’ created when Kroger closed in 2018.”

The proposed redesign eliminates 52 of the proposed 569 units and shows a Fickling & Company marketing proposal to locate a grocer for the space on the left front corner of the sprawling building at 400 Pio Nono Ave.

The proposal would give the realtor three years to find a grocery tenant before the company would request the right to convert that 15,000 sq. ft. to self-storage units.

The company already deferred their Jan. 13 request to allow time to design a 15,000 sq. ft. outparcel along Pio Nono Avenue for potential use of a grocery store. That initial redesign was not enough for commissioners to approve the project after several neighbors complained that they needed a grocery store to serve that Vineville area community.

An applicant is allowed to request a rehearing within 30 days of a denial.

If P&Z approves the request at their March 23 meeting, a new hearing will be scheduled.

Commissioners got through Monday afternoon’s agenda in less than 13 minutes as most of the items were pre-approved by staff and presented for ratification.

Donnie Gilbert of CMD Homes received conditional use approval for new architectural designs for the last remaining section of the Barrington Hall subdivision off Zebulon Road in northwestern Bibb County.

Liz Fabian
The 800 block of Forsyth Street in downtown Macon will be restored for new retail and lofts in the historic business center that dates back to the late 1800s.

In the 800 block of Forsyth Street up from H&H Restaurant, commissioners approved a certificate of appropriateness for the renovations for ground floor retail space and second floor lofts in the historic business district that dates back to the late 1800s.

The commission also approved the roof design of Christ Episcopal Church’s Harrold House built around 1860 at 582 Walnut St., signed off on plans for a new single-family home at 413 New Street, granted a variance to allow for construction of a new house at 235 Northwest Pointe Drive and granted conditional use for a new day care at Stone Edge Church at 5659 Zebulon Road.

Prodigal Sons & Daughters withdrew its application for a teen rehabilitation program and residence for the old Macon Rescue Mission at 1279 Telfair St.

Macon-Bibb County purchased the property in January for the sheriff’s new centralized location for an Outreach and Restorative Justice Center.

Contact Civic Reporting Senior Fellow Liz Fabian at 478-301-2976 or [email protected]