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Hy-Vee confirms Austin project; Iowa grocer planning new distribution center

Hy-Vee Inc. confirmed Friday that it is in the exploratory phase of making plans to build a new distribution center in Austin.

“The site in Austin is being considered for the project due to its centralized location in the company’s eight-state territory and interstate access as well as the community’s ample workforce,” said Tina Potthoff, vice president of communications for Hy-Vee, Inc.

Hy-Vee is looking at a 150-acre site on the western edge of the community north of Interstate 90 by the Oakland Avenue exit. Hy-Vee does not own the property at this time, but anticipates construction could begin as early as 2019.

Hy-Vee has distribution centers in Cherokee, Iowa, and Chariton, Iowa. Both centers employ several hundred people.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Austin, and we are excited to continue our great relationship with Hy-Vee,” Mayor Tom Stiehm said in a news release on Friday.

City Administrator Craig Clark said the project is expected to have a significant economic impact, such as out-of-town construction spending, work for local contractors, increased demand for professional and retail service providers, increased local sales tax revenue and increased real estate transactions.

“This project would be a great boost for our community that will only get better with time,” he said.

Development Corporation of Austin Executive Director John Garry said local contractors and retail stores would see a substantial increase in revenue if the distribution center is built.