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Hy-Vee utilizing Austin model

Published 10:15am Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Albert Lea convenience store to use Caribou-gas station system

Albert Lea will follow Austin’s footsteps with its new Hy-Vee convenience store.

Albert Lea officials announced plans earlier this week to build a new store to replace the one it has at 2717 Bridge Ave., which is across from its grocery store. The new Hy-Vee Gas will feature a Caribou Coffee drive-through, similar to the gas station in Austin, said Ruth Comer, assistant vice president of media relations for Hy-Vee.

Austin’s Hy-Vee Gas became the first in the country during its mid-2011 remodel to attach a Caribou Coffee shop.

Construction in Albert Lea could begin later this month, with the opening slated for next spring. The new gas station will also feature eight gasoline pumps, a one-bay car wash and an expanded prepared food section.

Comer said the new store will be built right next to the present one, and after it is completed, the old store will be torn down.

“The current building was one we purchased,” she said. “It’s an older store, and it has a lot of wear and tear on it.”

Information about the cost and size of the project was unavailable.

The construction comes as crews are working on a new $5 million Kwik Trip gas station further south down Bridge in Albert Lea.

Hy-Vee, based out of West Des Moines, Iowa, has more than 235 retail stores across eight states. It has 10 gas stations in southern Minnesota.

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