Denison’s empty Kroger building, located at 815 W. Crawford, got one step closer to being purchased when the Denison City Council recently approved an agreement to permit the parking lot to continue to exist.

The issue centered on a right of way encroachment along the perimeter of the property. Denison City Manager Jud Rex said the parking lot extended out into the road’s right of way on all four sides. He said it was an issue that needed to be addressed in order for the real estate broker to begin looking for a buyer for the property.

“This is very important for a prospective buyer who would want a title that is free and clear of encumbrances,” Rex said. “They are being proactive before it becomes an issue.”

Rex said the broker brought the issue to Denison’s attention when it was discovered during a survey of the property. The agreement will allow the parking lot to continue to exist as long as it remains a parking lot and no additional improvements are made to it without the city’s consent.

Rex said only the three streets on the north, west and south sides of the property are covered by the agreement. The city streets affected are West Chestnut Street, South Scullen Avenue and West Crawford Street.

The road on East Armstrong Avenue, which is State Highway 91, is a Texas Department of Transportation right of way and therefore the property owner will need to seek a similar agreement from that agency separate from the city agreement. Rex said Denison’s agreement would also extend to any future buyers of the property. He said the property itself is important to the city.

“It is a key part of downtown,” Rex said. “It is an entire city block. We’re talking about almost two and a half acres. It is a significant property we look forward to help redevelop.”

Kroger announced plans to close its long-time Denison location in February after nearly 60 years of business in downtown. Rex said there are sidewalks along all four sides of the property, which is typical for those types of rights of way. He said having an agreement in place will make it easier to sell the property.

Rex said the agreement the city authorized only addresses the parking lot and right of way issues, it makes no mention of the structures or site plan of the lot.