Port Authority passes old Hy-Vee marketing plan; Wis. firm to market old grocery building

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A conditional purchase agreement between the Austin Port Authority and a Wisconsin firm for the old Hy-Vee building and a piece of land on 18th Avenue Northwest was approved during a public hearing in the Austin City Council chambers on Monday afternoon.

Slaby and Associates of Verona, Wisconsin, will market the building and what is known as the Farmer’s Market lot for $800,000. The Port Authority vote was unanimous, with two members absent.


“[Slaby and Associates] understand the parameters, so they can translate that into lease agreements with the retailers,” said Port Authority Executive Director and City Administrator Craig Clark. “They can then market that to prospective clients.”

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As part of the proposed agreement, there will be an inspection and due diligence period that extends to the end of the year, during which time Slaby and Associates will have either successfully marketed the 52,000-square-foot building for tenants—- which has to include an anchor store — or it will withdraw from the agreement.

According to Clark, the inspection also helps the firm know the cost of updating and remodeling the building for the clients’ needs.

The Port Authority will reserve a piece of land south of the building and pay insurance on the building during the due diligence period.

The building at that point would still fall under a contractual requirement that says Hy-Vee must demolish the building. The company will have until Feb.1, 2018, to complete the demolition. Should Slaby exercise purchase of the property, Hy-Vee would still contribute $200,000 toward the project’s proceeds, according to an amendment to an agreement with Hy-Vee.

The Farmer’s Market lot, located between O’Reilly Auto Parts and the Hy-Vee gas station, will have to include a “fast casual” or “sit-down” restaurant, encompassing about 4,200 square feet, and a strip of retail space that has a total of about 7,000 square feet.
—Deb Nicklay contributed to this article