Hy-Vee is asking the Cedar Rapids City Council to approve rezoning land adjacent to its northwest Cedar Rapids drugstore to pave the way for expanding and remodeling the building to house a neighborhood grocery store.
The West Des Moines-based company wants to more than double its 12,690-square-foot building, constructed in 1986, to 27,000 square feet for a Hy-Vee Mainstreet store.
The Cedar Rapids Planning Commission voted unanimously July 18 to recommend approval of the rezoning. A public hearing and first reading of an ordinance changing the zoning is set for the Aug. 27 City Council meeting.
Ruth Comer, Hy-Vee assistant vice president, said the store will retain a pharmacy and drive-up lane. It also will stock a wider variety of grocery products as well as having produce department and departments with full service, grill, wine and spirits and frozen food, she added.
“Assuming we receive all of our approvals and everything goes as planned, construction is expected to begin in October and be completed in the spring of next year,” Comer said. “The addition will be built while the store will remain open.
“When the addition is completed, they will move into the new part and begin remodeling the old part of the building.”
Comer said Hy-Vee likely will need to add employees with specific skills in the meat and produce departments as well as the grill. She said the grill will be more of a lunch counter offering burgers, sandwiches, wraps and French fries.
The grill will be WiFi-enabled, she noted.
Hy-Vee has converted drugstores in Muscatine and Sioux City to Mainstreet stores. Comer said the stores typically attract walk-up traffic from nearby residences as well as shoppers who need a relatively small number of grocery items.
The existing Hy-Vee Drugstore site will be combined with two small parcels of land to the east and a larger parcel to the south. Truck delivery traffic will enter from First Avenue NW, and customer access will continue to be from Johnson Avenue NW.
The store has 148 parking spaces, more than the 90 spaces required by city code.
Hy-Vee also has begun clearing land next to its supermarket at 4035 Mount Vernon Rd. SE to pave the way for a 10,000-square-foot expansion with the store growing to 71,400 square feet. A Market Cafe restaurant and bar serving sandwiches and appetizers as well as beer and wine will be added pending the approval of licenses and permits.
Hy-Vee/Weitz Construction will be the general contractor for the expansion projects. The 17-year-old joint venture also will be the general contractor for a 92,000-square-foot store in Ankeny and a store of similar size in Waukee.