Hy-Vee announced this week that plans for the company’s Blaine grocery and convenience stores have been canceled and the property will be sold.
The Blaine store would have been located on 40 acres at 210 125th Ave. NE, on the southwest corner of the Jefferson Street and 125th Avenue intersection. The 84,997-square-foot Hy-Vee store was planned to have groceries, a liquor store, a restaurant (Market Grill) with outdoor dining, as well as a pharmacy, clinic, Starbucks and postal service. Plans for an adjacent 10,500-square-foot convenience store/gas station, with a car wash and coffee shop with a drive-thru, were also canceled.
Plans for the project were initially approved by the Blaine City Council back in 2018.
Grading work on the Blaine Hy-Vee store began in fall 2019 and concluded in spring 2020. The City Council approved an extension for the project’s conditional use permit last April, which would’ve required that Hy-Vee start construction on the store by April 19, 2022.
Hy-Vee also recently canceled plans for grocery stores and/or convenience stores/gas stations in the cities of Chaska, Farmington, Maple Grove and West St. Paul.
In the spring 2021, Hy-Vee also pulled the plug on its proposed Columbia Heights location that was planned for the Central Valu Center, former home of Rainbow Foods, at 4300 Central Ave. NE.
According to a statement from Hy-Vee officials, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer company is seeking to adopt a new long-term growth strategy centered on building 150,000-square-foot or larger stores and putting more distance between future retail sites. As a result, Hy-Vee said its decided to sell the five parcels it had acquired over the past six years for smaller projects in the Twin Cities area.
Hy-Vee officials said one of the factors leading to the larger blueprint is the launch of new departments as well as the announcement of Hy-Vee’s Aisles Online hubs, which requires more square footage dedicated to on-site grocery pick up and storage space.
“A lot has changed since we first acquired these locations,” said Jeremy Gosch, president and chief operating officer at Hy-Vee. “As customers’ shopping patterns have changed over the pandemic, we’ve determined that there is a need for larger store formats that these current sites simply are not able to accommodate.”
No timetable for the property sales has been announced.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consider sites in and around the Twin Cities, which remains an important market for us,” said Jeff Markey, executive vice president and chief growth officer at Hy-Vee. “We continue to be committed to being a major player in the food retail space in the Twin Cities and beyond, but these sites unfortunately don’t align with our strategy moving forward.”
Hy-Vee currently 13 supermarkets in the Twin Cities area, including in Spring Lake Park, that were all constructed and opened since 2015.