URBANA — Ruler Foods is expected to open a grocery store in the former Jerry's IGA space on Philo Road this summer, The News-Gazette has learned.
It would be the third such Ruler Foods store planned for East Central Illinois. The discount food chain, which is affiliated with Kroger, has already made arrangements to open stores in Danville and Champaign.
Ruler Foods would bring new life to Urbana's Southgate Shopping Center, where the Jerry's IGA space has stood idle since 2004. The shopping center has smaller tenants, including a Dollar General store.
The new grocery is expected to take about 24,000 square feet at 2010 S. Philo Road, said Kenny Roessler, whose company Roessler Construction & Contracting is preparing the space for further work by Kroger.
Roessler said he expects his work to last through spring, with Kroger expected to follow with another three months or so of work.
Calls placed to Kroger's Central Division were referred to the chain's general office because the store involved was Ruler Foods. Messages left at the general office were not immediately returned.
Ruler Foods is owned by Seymour, Ind.-based JayC Food Stores, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger. Ruler has opened several stores in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky the last two years.
Ruler Foods in December signaled it was coming to Urbana when it ran ads inviting people to apply for management positions at its Champaign, Urbana and Danville stores.
In Danville, Ruler Foods is slated to open in the former Save-A-Lot building at East Main and Griffin streets.
In Champaign, Ruler Foods is going into the former Old Navy space in the Champaign Town Center shopping center. Other tenants of that shopping center include H.H. Gregg and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft.
The Champaign store, which would be about 20,000 square feet, is expected to open in March.
Coincidentally, the Urbana space that Ruler Foods plans to occupy was originally a Kroger store before it housed Jerry's IGA. Kroger opened a store there in 1982 before pulling out of the Champaign-Urbana market the following year.