The 725 Ponce project near the Atlanta Beltline by developer New City would feature a new Kroger store and and an office tower. The current Kroger store has the infamous nickname “Murder Kroger,” but the Cincinnati-based grocer has tried in recent years to re-brand it as the “Beltline Kroger.”

Candlelight vigil planned for 'Murder Kroger'

"In Loving Memory... Murder Kroger (1986-2016)"

Three Atlanta residents have planned a candlelight vigil for "Murder Kroger," according to a Facebook event page. Scheduled to take place on Oct. 27, the vigil will invite local residents to "[mourn] an Atlanta icon."

Earlier this year, it was announced  that developers plan to replace the existing grocery store with with an office tower and a new 60,000 square-foot Kroger store. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own candles and items that can be donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank to the event.

The Kroger on Ponce De Leon Avenue, nicknamed ‘Murder Kroger’, recently added a mural, an access ramp to the Beltline, bike racks and a bicycle repair station. A Kroger spokesman said they would prefer to be known as ‘Beltline Kroger.’ BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM

"Murder Kroger" got its name after a 1991 crime on the property, although the grocery store chain has tried to rebrand the location as "Beltline Kroger" in recent years.

"We are not forgetting those who have fallen at ['Murder Kroger']," the Facebook page reads. "Lets make it a remembering time."

The Ponce de Leon Avenue grocery store will close Friday to make way for 725 Ponce.

The three organizers are all Georgia State University students.

Rachel Bowen said she and Rowyn Hirsch started the Facebook page in the GSU plaza "more as a joke" and Hailey Stambek, a marketing major, "came on board later." 

Bowen's personal connection to the store came from growing up in Atlanta, she said. She reminisced about the first time she went there: She and fellow Atlanta native Hirsch had just left a concert at the Masquerade, and her friend was shocked when she found out Bowen had never been. 

"... it feels like we're losing a piece of Atlanta history," Bowen said in a message.

The Facebook page also advertises t-shirts commemorating the grocery store. The shirt is $16.99 on Amazon, but it might not arrive before the vigil. 

8 p.m.-midnight. Oct. 27. Free. Kroger, 725 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta. facebook.com.

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