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Family Mart / Kroger-SavOn, 4305 Fort Jackson Blvd: Nov 2007   49 comments

Posted at 12:07 am in Uncategorized

I don't know exactly when this Kroger closed, sometime in November is my best estimate. I was just driving by one day, and noticed that it was gone. It had been looking pretty thread-bare the last few times I was in it.

The closing of this location leaves only one of the inital wave of Kroger's entry into the Columbia market still open: the location at the corner of Forest Drive & Beltline Blvd. I remember when Kroger first came to town, it was the store. I was in high-school at the time, and the Decker Blvd location was convient to me when I first started to drive. My recollection is that Kroger was definitely a cut above anything else in town at the time. All of the stores had full bakeries, and a cheese section with more than the standard block chedder I grew up on. They also had small housewares (the second microwave I ever bought came from Kroger) and if they weren't open all night at the time (I can't quite recall) they were certainly open later than most Columbia grocers.

The initial wave was Decker Mall, Bush River Mall, Forest Drive, Fort Jackson Blvd, and US-1 just past Triangle City. I think the Bush River Mall location was the first to go, as that mall never really established itself. The next was the Decker location, a harbinger of the general decline of the Decker corridor. This was followed by US-1 and now by Fort Jackson Blvd.

Part of this wave of closings, aside from the poor location on Bush River was due, in my opinion to the changes in the grocery market. When Kroger came to town, it was up-market, but the next wave of store openings by its competitors trumped that by being even more up-market and Kroger found itself with suddenly dated looking properties that weren't as nice inside as newer competitors. They seem to have elected to compete by building new stores rather than refurbishing older ones, and the store on Two Notch Rd near Spring Valley High is built to their new standards. It will be interesting to see how long the old store on Forest Drive can survive. The new Piggly Wiggly by Cardinal Newman beats it for up-market, and the one-two punch of Publix and Fresh Market at Trenholm Plaza delivers everything other than 24-hour shopping.

UPDATE 5 April 2009

Here is commentor Melanie (looking cute as a button!) with a clown at the grand opening celebration of this store back in the day:

Thanks Melanie!

UPDATE 26 April 2010: Added full street address to post title.

UPDATE 30 April 2010: Added some more pictures (utility work was ongoing in the parking lot at the time these were taken).

UPDATE 6 February 2012 -- Well, it appears that work on the Whole Foods uplift has begun:

(Also, I have finally got around to adding Family Mart to the post title).

UPDATE 10 May 2012 -- Construction continues in these pictures from 6 March 2012:






The rubble in the final picture above is from the demolition of the old Lucas Machinery building.


Photoset 6 March 2012

Written by ted on December 31st, 2007

Tagged with , , , ,

49 Responses to 'Family Mart / Kroger-SavOn, 4305 Fort Jackson Blvd: Nov 2007'

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  1. In the 60's this was the site of the Starlite Drive-in.
    Also the Goodyear store in front of Kroger closed last week.


    4 May 08 at 7:27 pm

  2. There is still a Kroger in Irmo too. They have extensively renovated the interior within the last year. Its the only grocery store that is open 24 hours in the greater metropolitan Irmo area.


    20 Aug 08 at 2:18 pm

  3. When this restaurant was open during its last days in 2007, I heard one of the employees say that Costco had bought the location. If that's the case, they're not moving very fast.


    4 Dec 08 at 4:01 pm

  4. Does anyone remember the huge skateboard ramp that was in the parking lot of the church on the corner of Rockbridge rd and Trenholm? It was there back in the late 70's just next door to the Rockbridge Country club.

    jeff g.

    4 Dec 08 at 7:56 pm

  5. That's "Forest Lake Presbyterian", but I don't really remember a ramp.


    4 Dec 08 at 11:43 pm

  6. But when this building first opened it was a... Family Mart! A grocery store.

    Midnight Rambler

    16 Dec 08 at 2:34 pm

  7. YES!! I loved the Family Mart, it was the one store we would shop at that had video games. In the early days, they actually had a music section and a good selection of comic books. It was never the same once Kroger took over.


    29 Jan 09 at 12:15 am

  8. has a picture of herself when this Kroger made its GRAND OPENING in the 80's... they had a clown you could get your picture with... if you give me an email address or something I will gladly send a copy for an addition to this listing.

    Melanie Gallant

    3 Apr 09 at 7:31 pm

  9. Sure! closings at columbiaclosings dot com


    3 Apr 09 at 10:47 pm

  10. I had read that Edens and Avant was planning to raze this building and redevelop it like they did with Woodhill ~2003-04 but haven't seen anything come out of it


    10 May 10 at 9:23 pm

  11. Supposedly Edens & Avant was going to rase & rebuild this into something new but haven't heard anything of it


    10 May 10 at 9:27 pm

  12. Andrew, I don't know exactly why, but the "akismet" spam filter is marking all your comments as spam, and they go into the moderation queue until I approve them. It might be because of your bonzale link, but I'm not really sure.


    11 May 10 at 1:33 am

  13. I shopped at this Kroger for many years and am still mad that it closed. It was very convenient to us and it had every grocery item you could think of. Now we trek to the Forest Drive Kroger, which is much smaller, and there are a lot of things they don't have room to stock. It is nice that a lot of the Jackson Blvd. employees made the transition the Forest Drive and are still there 2 1/2 years later.

    Going Way Back, this Jackson Blvd. lot holds ancient childhood memories of our family going to the Starlite Drive In with my sister and I in our pajamas so Dad could just toss us on bed when we got home. Later in high school I had some fun dates there too. And, of course, there was the Carolina Skating Rink closer to the road, which is some kind of warehouse now. I can still hear the Beatles playing over the PA competing with the constant roar of the skate wheels on the wooden floor.


    11 May 10 at 5:12 am

  14. The Carolina Skateing Rink was torn down in the 70's and replaced by the building that was a Chinese/Mexican and something else restaraunt.. it sits in the same spot. It was across the street on the corner from the Drive-In. The old man that ran the place and owned it, refused to change with the times, so he closed it and had it torn down.


    11 May 10 at 10:15 am

  15. Does anyone know who now owns the old Krogers building on Jackson Blvd?


    30 Jun 10 at 11:47 pm

  16. Jermaine - Richland County tax records say that property is owned by something called "Fort Jackson Boulevard (E & A) LLC." I'm guessing the "E & A" is Edens and Avant. They bought it in August 2007 for $1.3 million.


    1 Jul 10 at 3:41 am

  17. Thanks Dennis! Your info was VERY helpful!


    4 Jul 10 at 11:21 pm

  18. Dennis: your assumption that E&A stands for Edens & Avant makes sense as from what I've read that they want to redevelop it into something somehow but unless anyone else knows anything else, I do not


    5 Jul 10 at 10:09 pm

  19. I worked at this store for for 5 years before i moved to the Irmo store about 2 years before it closed. When I worked there we had customers that drove from Sumter to shop since Kroger had left Sumter years before I am guessing 5-10


    4 Oct 10 at 6:25 pm

  20. Ok a couple of months back, commenter Badger reported that LaBrasca's had closed . It appeared to have reopened but when I went by earlier this week, the signage had been removed so Ted, you might need to make plans to get the 'closing cam' out there soon.

    everything in the centers around that area appears to have closed. The Goodyear closed a couple of years ago as Ted's closing cam has already noted as well. Next to Kroger, there is an antiques place that has been several things that is closed as well . Edens & Avant was planning to raze the fmr. Kroger and redevelop it somehow from what I read a few years back. I haven't heard anything further so this means that the redevelopment plans are about to press forward and Edens & Avant hasn't come forward with it but we'll have to see.


    9 Oct 10 at 6:51 pm

  21. @Andrew: I don't know what building you think is LaBrasca's but I drove by there tonight and they were definitely open for business (with a neon OPEN sign even). All their signage was just as it was a month ago (they got a new sign by the road a few months back that proclaims "since 1961" replacing their old sign that still had the "LaBrasca's Five-minue Pizza" legend). Perhaps you were looking at the building across the side street that used to be Jesudi's/various Chinese/various Mexican. It's definitely vacant.


    10 Oct 10 at 7:02 pm

  22. La brasca's pizza is nasty, although their breakfast pizza's they had at dreher high school when i attended were good. Yea i liked this kroger, it was closer to home

    Aliina Jackson

    4 Feb 11 at 10:07 pm

  23. LaBrasca's is holding on somehow but I wonder how logn it can continue. In Early 2008 I read Edens and Avant had a plan to redevelop this area that hasn't come to fruition just yet. A lot of what becomes of LaBrasca's and what's left of the building adjacent to it depends on how Edens & Avant's plans come to fruition


    5 Feb 11 at 4:15 pm

  24. Clowns still freak me out...


    5 Mar 11 at 9:21 am

  25. Here is a writeup from when this Kroger was about to close that outlined what Edens and Avant has in mind.


    3 May 11 at 4:20 pm

  26. Edens and Avant will announce tomorrow at 8am what will be going here! That was on the 11pm WLTX news tonight! I can't wait to find out what it might be!

    Mrs. SK

    30 Jun 11 at 11:12 pm

  27. 8AM?! Who makes announcements at 8AM?

    Andrew's link suggests the original plan was retail -- wonder if that's still operant in this economy?

    A hotel would make sense given that FJB is an Interstate exit now and the only hotel on it currently is pretty basic.

    Not much point speculating I suppose..


    30 Jun 11 at 11:58 pm

  28. While I am glad Whole Foods is coming to Columbia, I was hoping for Lake Murray Blvd.


    1 Jul 11 at 7:44 am

  29. tonkatoy

    1 Jul 11 at 8:15 am

  30. Since right before the Kroger closed, I had read that Edens and Avant had a plan to redevelop this place and it appears (thanks to tonkatoy's link) that this is finally a go!

    I have been awaiting this news for 3½ years now. They had been previously tight lipped about it but it appears it's time to announce the development of Cross Hill Market!!

    I look forward to seeing what else will occupy Cross Hill Market (let the guessing games begin!)

    I have the Edens & Avant announcement for you reading pleasure. The property is not yet listed on their property portfolio but I will keep an eye on Edens & Avant's site and will post something when it's does make their portfolio listings.

    They did a good job redeveloping Shoppes at Woodhill and completed a facelift on Trenholm Plaza recently as well and so now, I look forward to seeing what becomes of the new Cross Hill Market at the hands of Columbia-based Edens & Avant.

    They've also recently developed the Lexington Pavilion on US#378 (anchored by Target and 'junior anchors' World Market, Best Buy and PetSmart) and further out they also developed another shopping center called Hendrix Crossing (anchored by Publix and came online this past February) so this is what comes next for them I suppose!


    1 Jul 11 at 4:02 pm

  31. Ok folks Cross Hill Market has a facebook page


    5 Jul 11 at 8:57 pm

  32. I am pleased to be able to show you Cross Hill Market's listing on Edens & Avant's site!!


    8 Jul 11 at 10:44 pm

  33. Andrew

    14 Jan 12 at 7:53 pm

  34. This Sunday's The State has a writeup talking about what it took to get Whole Foods in Columbia


    1 May 12 at 12:37 am

  35. folks, the grand opening date for the Whole Foods Market at Cross Hill Market in Columbia, SC has been schedule for:


    October 25, 2012


    15 Oct 12 at 2:12 pm

  36. folks, the grand opening date for the Whole Foods Market at Cross Hill Market in Columbia, SC has been scheduled for:


    October 25, 2012


    15 Oct 12 at 2:13 pm

  37. I'm kind of excited about the Whole Foods Market. My son got a job there and has been in training for the past couple of weeks. He's been in the grocery buiness for 4 years and says this store is and will be a nice addition to the Columbia area.


    17 Oct 12 at 12:05 pm

  38. folks, I made it to the opening of Whole Foods Market and can tell you that a store full of 365 whole value brands as well as a pizza bar as well hot bar all await you.

    Those of you that remember the drive-in theater that once sat on this site will, if you look in the seating area, notice a picture of the site when the drive in theater was there...


    25 Oct 12 at 4:58 pm

  39. I intended to drive thru the parking lot and see what was open but the traffic was backed up and the police were out directing traffic. That had to make the new tenants happy.

    I also noticed the Bojangles next door is getting a facelift, and the Moe's and new burger joint will be opening in the area soon. It is good to see the Devine St. corridor coming alive.


    25 Oct 12 at 8:52 pm

  40. Kind of makes you wonder why K Mart couldn't stick it out six more months to see if they would get any traffic.


    25 Oct 12 at 11:03 pm

  41. @ted, my understanding on the Kmart is that the 50 year lease came up this summer and it was facing a lease increase that was more than Kmart could have handled (which is a common occurrence in the world of commercial real estate (it's the same reason why Dillard's left Richland Mall in 2003))...btw there were cars parked in the old Kmart lot today.

    Ulta is also now open at Cross Hill market


    25 Oct 12 at 11:17 pm

  42. Yeah, I got some pictures of the new Ulta, but haven't managed to get them uploaded yet. Same with lots of pictures of the Cross Hill construction.


    26 Oct 12 at 12:55 am

  43. People started lining up at 5:00am to get in on the first day it was to open.


    26 Oct 12 at 11:33 am

  44. I mean, Lining up at 5:00am to get into Whole Foods the first day.


    26 Oct 12 at 11:37 am

  45. Rick, I don't doubt impression when I went around lunchtime on opening day was that it rivaled the crowd/excitement of a Chick-Fil-A grand opening...


    26 Oct 12 at 1:15 pm

  46. My son was hired on at Whole Foods Market over a month ago and was involved in preparing the store to open. He can't say enough about what a great place it is to work. He and the other associates are proud of their employer and want to go to work. My son goes in each morning at 4:00am. It must be nice to really love where and who you work for, and with. I know they are out there, I personally have not found that spot yet, that has all three.


    27 Oct 12 at 6:33 am

  47. Anyone interested in seeing a Grand opening video should watch


    13 Nov 12 at 10:12 pm

  48. What was probably the first drive-in theater in Columbia opened in 1941 at the intersection of Devine Street and Fort Jackson Boulevard where Whole Foods Market is now. Originally, it was simply called Columbia’s Drive-In Theatre. In 1948 it was named the Starlite and operated under that name for 35 years, closing for good in 1977. Family Mart opened at that location in 1978 and was converted to a Kroger Save-On in 1987. Kroger closed in 2007 and Whole Foods opened in 2012.


    11 Apr 22 at 11:05 am

  49. I thought the Drive-In on Devine was open until right around 1980 or 81? I know that the Beltline Drive-In was still around in 1981 but closed I think during the early part of the summer.


    11 Apr 22 at 6:30 pm

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