A three-month demolition of the former Dolly Madison plant on North National Road is underway in preparation for a new Kroger Marketplace superstore.

On Monday, Gilliatte General Contractors of Indianapolis began tearing down the 2,800-square-foot former Dolly Madison retail store which is closest to National Road, according to Gary Swinford, Gilliatte job-site superintendent.

Work to bring down the rest of the estimated 207,000-square-foot food plant will begin next week, Swinford said.

The demolition crew also will demolish a combined 12,000 square feet of garage area, which is attached to the main plant.

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Workers must complete asbestos removal from the main plant before demolition can begin there, Swinford said.

The contractors said dust and noise from the site during demolition should be minimal as the company is using only a few pieces of heavy equipment and five workers to take down the buildings.

Swinford described it as knocking down the buildings but separating materials that can be recycled as the work progresses — meaning metal, steel, tin, copper, wood and blocks are separated out, he said. Items that can’t be recycled are then gathered to be sent to a landfill.

Since the former Dolly Madison site is a one-story facility, it does not lend itself to implosion for the demolition, Swinford said. Instead, the heavy equipment will bring the buildings down piece by piece.

Most of the buildings that are being demolished are more than 50 years old, Kroger officials said. The Dolly Madison site dates to 1960 and is surrounded by retail businesses, including two car dealerships, several other auto-related businesses and restaurants.

Kroger plans to spend $20 million to build its estimated 130,000-square-foot superstore on the 11.5-acre site at 3060 N. National Road.

The Kroger store now at 3110 N. National Road will be closed when the new store opens, although its fuel site will remain at its current location, Kroger officials said.

The current Kroger store is about 56,000 square feet. The new store will have the traditional features of a Kroger, including a pharmacy with a drive-thru, Mark Salma, with Kroger’s real estate office in Indianapolis, said in an earlier interview.

The marketplace concept will feature components not found in regular Kroger stores, including a café, Baby World, and bed and bath, gourmet cheese, home fashion and toy departments, he said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.