Springfield residents living near South MacArthur Boulevard could have a new grocery store in the neighborhood by this time next year.
Iowa-based chain Hy-Vee held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning in the parking lot of the old Kmart store and bowling alley just north of Outer Park Drive.
Hy-Vee Asst. VP of Operations Mary Fuhrman says her crews will start tearing down the vacant buildings immediately. Fuhrman expects the store to open by late spring 2014.
Mary Fuhrman answers reporters’ questions .mp3
Fuhrman says an estimated 400 people will be hired to staff the store – 30% full, 70% part-time. Hiring will begin early next year.
The roughly 90,000 sq. ft. supermarket and convenience store will feature an in-store restaurant as well as drive-through windows for both its pharmacy and a coffee shop.
Alderman Cory Jobe previously served as President of the MacArthur Boulevard Business Association, the group that’s now simply known as the MacArthur Boulevard Association. Jobe says he has “always preached incentives” to attract developers to an area that’s seen better days:
JOBE: “This is a true example of why we create TIF districts here in the capital city, to lure private investment into the city. We needed something to ‘jump out on the limb’ and take that chance. And that’s what Hy-Vee did. It signals that you can do business on the Boulevard.”
Both Jobe and Mayor Michael Houston said Monday they expect the new Hy-Vee store to be a “catalyst” for the Boulevard, triggering further redevelopment in the area.
The city will reimburse Hy-Vee up to $3.5 million for demolition, environmental remediation and construction costs. The re-development project is the first (and likely to be the largest) for the Macarthur Boulevard Corridor TIF District, which was created in February 2012.
- Mayor Michael Houston .mp3
- Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin .mp3
- Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Steward Sandstrom .mp3