Kroger, Cincinnati Fresh Distribution Center

Blue Ash, Ohio

Kroger is the largest supermarket chain and the second largest retailer in the United States, and continues to grow. A distribution center was needed in the Cincinnati area, so the company purchased a former Nash Finch warehouse of 390,000 SF to repurpose.

When Kroger purchased the property, the building consisted of a 1960s brick warehouse with a 1990s insulated metal panel addition. Kroger’s program required a new addition. The complexity of building systems required that phasing for construction be carefully planned. Due to constructability concerns and site constraints, Phase 1 included renovating the site and warehouse and opening the distribution center to allow for critical business operations to begin. Office construction was conducted in Phase 2, after product was already moving in the distribution center.

LEO A DALY led the design of the distribution center’s renovation to suit the unique program. The renovation included modernizing approximately 217,000 SF of dry grocery storage warehouse, truck maintenance space, office, employee break area and dock.

We also converted approximately 150,000 SF to perishable cooler space and added 45,000 SF to include a freezer, cooler and mechanical room. The 1960s warehouse posed a variety of code-related challenges to the team, including dated fire safety and fire suppression solutions.

Kroger also identified the crucial need to address the cost of employee retention within its new facility. Implementing a strong workplace strategy for the project was imperative. The team focused on increasing brand identity through a fresh and vibrant palette and emphasizing key employee amenities to increase “pride-of-place.”

Hear about the impact of workplace design on employee engagement at the Cincinnati Fresh Center:



At a glance

390,000 SF conversion to refrigerated storage

40,000 SF addition to freezer


40,000 SF new freezer

90,000 SF remodeled dry grocery, maintenance, office and dock

150,000 SF existing dry grocery conversion to cooler

100,000 SF freezer remodel

10,000 SF office remodel


Architecture design

Interior design

Electrical mechanical, structural and civil engineering