AURORA | Grocery retailer Kroger wants to expand its distribution center and add jobs in Aurora, but to do so its asking for tax incentives from the city. 

Kroger estimates it would add 52 new jobs to the existing 518 at the Aurora distribution center, on Tower Road north of I-70, if the company is able to complete the expansion. 

Under the agreement, which is pending Aurora City Council’s approval at a regular meeting Monday, Kroger would add 172,000 square-feet to the center. The estimated cost of the project is $21 million for building and land improvements and $43 million in additional capital equipment, according to city documents. 

The draft agreement between the city and Kroger calls for a 10-year tax rebate agreement that would provide Kroger with $717,500. Unlike most agreements, Kroger would receive the rebates prior to the creation of the new jobs. 

The contracts requires that the median annual salary of the new jobs should start at $56,160 and grow to $62,160 by the 10th anniversary of the agreement.

The agreement contains provisions for the company to repay all of the incentive if they fail to create 80 percent of the required jobs after the first five years, according to city documents. The 52 jobs would be required to be retained for at least 10 years after the agreement is made.

Kroger operates in 35 states and has 39 distribution centers across the nation. The company says the Aurora distribution center, which serves stores located in the Midwest and Southwest regions of the country, is at capacity.

City council members are expected to make a decision on the incentives Monday.

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer