2 more commit to development; Maurices, Shoe Sensation to open locations in old Hy-Vee building

Published 9:28 am Friday, January 11, 2019

Two retail companies have signed on to open locations in the remaining available space at the old Hy-Vee building.

City Administrator Craig Clark said that Verona, Wisconsin-based firm Slaby and Associates informed the city last week that Shoe Sensation and Maurices have agreed to lease the last two spots.

“We’re glad to hear Slaby and Associates has filled the Austin Marketplace with five tenants,” Clark said. “This completes their occupancy for any available open space and allows them to focus on the out lot for continued development as they continue to explore other retailers.”

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Slaby and Associates purchased the old Hy-Vee from the Austin Port Authority in July 2018. The contract stated Slaby and Associates would have to either successfully market the 52,000-square-foot building for five tenants — including an anchor store — or it would withdraw from the agreement. Slaby and Associates is also responsible for establishing a new building at the Farmer’s Market lot, located between O’Reilly Auto Parts and the Hy-Vee gas station, which will have a “fast casual” or “sit-down” restaurant along with three other tenants.

It was announced recently that Maurices will make the move to become part of the Austin Marketplace development.

At the time of the purchase, Marshalls, Five Below and Pet Supplies Plus had submitted letters of intent. It was confirmed in December that all three had signed leases for the old Hy-Vee.

The Indiana-based Shoe Sensation, which offers brand name shoes and footwear for men, women and children, will be a new addition to Austin, while women’s fashion store Maurices will be relocating from its current location at Super Center Place.

“Having a shoe option in town is a welcome addition and it’s clear Maurices is interested in being closer to the new retail traffic that these stores will drive,” Clark said. “We’re cognizant that the retail world is a fluid dynamic, but with the growth of Aldi, Rooms and Rest, Ashley, Hobby Lobby, Real Deals and others, we’ve seen a retail boom. These additions provide shopping amenities for our community and grow our tax base, which helps keep dollars local.”

With a projected opening date for the new stores scheduled for September 2019, Slaby and Associates Vice President Victor Baeten said Shoe Sensation and Maurices moved quickly to sign leases and give the firm time to update the rendering for the building.

“It all worked out and it was faster than we thought,” Baeten said. “I’m excited they’re done and the building is through. We were very happy Shoe Sensation and Maurices moved as quickly as they did.”

Baeten said the goal is to finish construction in the old Hy-Vee by August and get construction started on the out lot building as soon as possible, with hopes of possibly having it open by Spring 2020.

“We’ve been receiving a lot of proposals for the out lot,” he said, noting that the presence of Marshalls has increased interest. “I hope to have more information to announce on that in the coming months.”

“As Austin Marketplace works towards a September goal for opening, we’re hopeful others will want to capitalize on our community’s opportunity to build upon Austin’s position as a regional hub,” Clark said. “The water’s warm and there’s room for others as we welcome them to Austin!”