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The Austin Hy-Vee will look similar to this expanded location in Urbandale, Iowa, according to store officials. -- Photo provided
The Austin Hy-Vee will look similar to this expanded location in Urbandale, Iowa, according to store officials. -- Photo provided

Archived Story

Hy-Vee announces $7-$10M expansion: Store to add 22,000 square feet, restaurant and bar

Published 10:27am Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Austin Hy-Vee will add or expand the following services and elements to its store:

  • A full service restaurant, also serving wine and beer, and a sushi bar
  • An expanded kitchen area with Chinese and Italian dishes, smoked meats, calzones, gelato, a chef demonstration area and more
  • A gourmet cheese shop, and a humus and salsa bar
  • Almost all existing departments will expand
  • Bulk items
  • A pharmacy drive-through
  • A remodeled store front made up of glass and brick
  • The health market will roughly double in size
  • More selection throughout the grocery store
  • An expanded wine and spirits with a store entrance
  • More parking

Officials from Hy-Vee Inc. took the first steps Tuesday toward a long-rumored expansion of its Austin store.

The Austin Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit at its monthly meeting for a $7- to $10-million, 22,000-square-foot expansion of the Hy-Vee Austin store, at 1001 18th Ave. NW. The expansion would add space to the east and southeast, rearrange the store, add a restaurant and many other amenities, and bring Hy-Vee’s Austin location to about 82,000 square feet.

Austin’s Hy-Vee will look similar to the Urbandale, Iowa, store, pictured above, after the expansion. -- Photo provided
Austin’s Hy-Vee will look similar to the Urbandale, Iowa, store, pictured above, after the expansion. — Photo provided

“You’re getting all the good stuff that we’ve been working on for the last few years that we’re putting in all our new stores,” Jeff Stein, a Hy-Vee official, told the planning commission. “This will be the best and greatest of everything that we’re doing.”

The Austin Hy-Vee would be rearranged and look completely new, according to Stein. The store’s Chinese and Italian kitchen sections would expand and customers could purchase more goods like gelato and calzones. In addition, the store would add chef stations and demonstration areas, a gourmet cheese shop, and a humus and salsa bar. There would also be a pharmacy drive-through, an expanded grocery pick-up area, more bulk items and a larger variety of groceries.

Hyvee-expansionPerhaps the biggest change will be a full-service restaurant and bar, which would seat more than 150 people, serve wine and beer, and would add wait staff to Hy-Vee’s employees. It will also include a sushi bar and have a separate entrance.

“We are super excited,” said Todd Hepler, the Austin Hy-Vee manager. “We’ve seen a lot of great growth in our community, and now with Hy-Vee investing in Austin, it feels great.”

The larger store with added services is the new trend for Hy-Vee, according to Stein. He said a similar Hy-Vee opened in Urbandale, Iowa, in August 2012, and two others are scheduled to open near Des Moines this year.

“When I saw the Urbandale store, I said, ‘Wow, is this cool,’” Hepler said. “To have this in our town, it’s really exciting.”

The Urbandale, Iowa, Hy-Vee.
The Urbandale, Iowa, Hy-Vee.

Stein said Hy-Vee could add an estimated 20 percent to its staffing. The store had 373 employees as of January 2013.

Stein said the expansion, which has been in the works for more than two years, could start this fall, and will last about 11 or 12 months. The store will remain open during construction, and new departments will open as they’re completed.

Eighteenth Avenue should be able to handle any increased traffic as a result of the expansion, according to Austin Community Development Director Craig Hoium. He said the city conducted a traffic study when Walmart was built.

Hoium said there will be a 15-day appeals period before the conditional use permit is approved. If there are any appeals, it would then go to the City Council.

A picture of the Urbandale, Iowa, store shows what Austin’s Hy-Vee will look like after the expansion. -- Photo provided
A picture of the Urbandale, Iowa, store shows what Austin’s Hy-Vee will look like after the expansion. — Photo provided

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