BLOOMINGTON — Hy-Vee, a Midwestern grocery store chain, has an option to purchase the long-vacant K’s Merchandise site at Lakewood Plaza for a new store.

“We have gone to Bloomington with plans to build a Hy-Vee at the former Walmart site,” Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer said Thursday. “We’re working with the city on what’s required for approval.”

The 108,554-square-foot site has been vacant since K’s Merchandise closed in 2007. Walmart was the site’s first tenant, opening in 1987. K’s Merchandise moved to the location after Walmart built a new store in Normal in 1997.

Comer said the option is contingent on city approval of the plans.

“We’re at the beginning stage,” she said.

The company is doing a building inspection and is in phase one of an environmental study.

Bloomington Economic Development Coordinator Justine Robinson said the city began conversations with the company last month while she and City Manager David Hales were at a retail conference in Las Vegas. Since then representatives have met with the city to review preliminary site plans.

She said the Iowa-based company has not yet submitted any formal applications but the city is “thrilled to see that a nationally recognized retailer is looking at this location.”

“The revitalization of Lakewood Plaza hinges on a tenant entering the Ks Merchandise building,” she said. She said the large retailer would help boost the shopping center, which also added a Binny’s Beverage Depot last fall, and “could have a significant impact on the sales tax revenue for the city of Bloomington.”

Robinson said she sent an incentive application packet to the company but the city has not received any requests for specific incentives.

“There’s still environmental and other due diligence phases that have to be completed before this deal is done,” she said, adding that she’s working to answer any questions the company may have to ensure a “seamless” process.

“The city is thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to engage in conversations with Hy-Vee and we look forward to assisting them during their investigation,” Robinson said.

Comer said the company likes to build in the “most sustainable way” and could use some of the existing building.

Hy-Vee is working on a Springfield location at a former Kmart site, she said. The company tore down the outside walls of that building but is using all the steel.

A Hy-Vee store opened at Sheridan Village in Peoria about three years ago and the Peoria City Council has approved a second store at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie.

Comer said if all the approvals are given for the Bloomington site, work could start late this year. Construction typically takes 10 to 12 months, depending on weather and construction factors, she said. Hy-Vee stores are employee-owned.

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(26) comments

Jpi56
Jpi56

Love love love this plan!

OGPaints
OGPaints

There are way to many grocery stores in town as is. But if it brings on competition which in turn lowers prices I'm for it...

Harcourt
Harcourt

As a Quad City resident, I can tell you that Hy Vee will be a great addition to your community.

joe smoe
joe smoe

YES! LOVE this plan. Don't let the city government folks screw this up.

Danser
Danser

Good! I hope it works out. There definitely aren't enough grocery stores here to accommodate all of the people that have moved in, have been here and will be moving here. It's obvious everytime we go to the grocery store and they are out of lots of stuff we need. When you have to go to Jewel, Kroger, Schnucks, Walmart AND Meijer, there is something very wrong. I guess because we eat healthy along with a lot of other people.

shel
shel

I so hope this works out!!! When I lived in Kansas City it was the only store I shopped at. It will be a great addition to the community......they have great produce and meat at very affordable prices!!!

PS1994
PS1994

I love Hy Vee - awesome!

kjskeeter
kjskeeter

Best grocery store in the midwest! I worked at one for 5 years & loved every second of it. Low prices & fresh food also. Crossing my fingers!!!

IndianaGirl
IndianaGirl

Hy-Vee is a wonderful grocery chain. I think it will be a wonderful addition to Bloomington-Normal

mynameisnobody
mynameisnobody

What are they thinking, the old K’s Merchandise store? Ace Hardware store, that's the place to build.

summerof recovery
summerof recovery

A private company opening a grocery store without the Town paying for a study. Imagine that...I did not think such things were possible.

Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein

LOL... City of Bloomington should cut em a check for twenty grand just for looking.

Jaeone
Jaeone

Great News!! My husband & I drive to Peoria to shop at Hy-Vee. We love their meat, bakery & Deli. Will be so nice to have them closer to home.

DT Resident
DT Resident

Very excited. Hy-Vee is known to have a great selection of allergen free foods and currently I have to go to 2-3 stores to get eveything I need. Maybe this will be a one stop shop for me!

jonquil96
jonquil96

This is definitely a great plan!! I grew up around the Quad Cities and I've been hoping for years that they would build one here. I really hope it works out!

otis1949
otis1949

can I retune some pop bottle's there

Tisirish
Tisirish

We first started shopping at the Hy-Vee in the Lake of the Ozarks years ago. I had emailed them a few years ago & asked why they don't look at Bloomington. We love this store & were very excited to hear about the one they were building in Peoria. We drive there to grocery shop. It will be a great addition to the Bloomington.

JMullins
JMullins

Very good grocery operator. Will help this tired old shopping center and neighborhood too. Maybe property tax receipts will improve too.
But do not kid yourself that this will help "sales tax revenue for the city of Bloomington." When this store comes to town it is not like it is magically going to plant beans that grow more grocery shoppers. Grocery shoppers are just going to shift from an existing store to this one.

gohawks86
gohawks86

This would be awesome. Yes there's a lot of grocery stores in town but they're too over crowded.

bn641
bn641

Hy-Vee will be a great addition to the Bloomington-Normal area. I sure hope they decide to build here.

HONEST ABE
HONEST ABE

One of the things we miss about living in the LaSalle Peru area is the Hy-Vee grocery store. They have great produce and meat, the store is always clean and they have great prices. I would be thrilled to have a quality, employee owned grocery store to shop in regularly! Great pizza, fried chicken, and Chinese food ready to grab and go as well. I wouldn't step foot in the superstores if Hy-Vee came to town.

ct
ct

This is not possible.

Bloomington needs to pay for a $20,000 supermarket study first to make sure HyVee should go there, plus that study needs to point out a completely different site that is not available anyway

That is the way Normal does it anyhow....

BC
BC

Peoria Hy-Vee is a nice store with lots of extras and a wide range of products. Unfortunately I did not see the lower prices we were told to expect. They pretty much stayed within the price range of other stores in town. I am able to beat their cost and meat quality in other stores within our area. I live at a halfway point so it is just as convenient to do my large grocery buying in either Peoria or Pekin. I can beat Hy-Vee at Food Depot in Pekin, price wise and quality of meat. Peoria has some excellent meat markets that offer superior products compared to any grocery chain. Bloomington does have more grocery competition so maybe that area will see more competitive pricing than Peoria. Aldi is still the most economical for many basics and they are beginning to carry many items from their co-owned Trader Joe chain. There is as always X amount of food purchased in any given area, other stores will suffer unless they compete, it is a game of gimmicks and competitive pricing. Kroger remains king with gimmicks such as their saver card. Most don't catch on to the mark it up so we can mark it down ruse. It is laughable that they expect me to pay $1 more so I can save a dime on a gallon of gas.

newdays
newdays

I loved Hy V store while in Quad city area. Bank, flower shop, lunch counter, postal service, all in the store. I have bragged about that chain of stores so many times though the years. Glad to hear they are ready to enter this area. Yeah!!

4757
4757

After reading this story and the posts I had to find the nearest Hy Vee and see for myself if it could be a place where I can grocery shop. I found and went to the Hy Vee store in Peoria, I walked in and was immediately impressed with the freshest looking produce I have seen and nicely presented. I continued my tour of the store and again I was impressed with the meat and deli departments. To me, there is not a store in Bloomington that can equal these departments for presentation and varieties of meats. The bakery was to me just another mass produced product and then frozen and then thawed out just before sale. Nothing stuck out in my mind here. The entire store was very clean and the nicest employees I have ever met. Almost all of them greeted me and seemed genuinely interested in me shopping there. But sadly that said, I did not find the prices in my price range. To me they were in the price range of Schnucks and Jewel in B/N maybe a bit higher. If you don't mind paying more for food that you can get A LOT CHEAPER at other stores, then Hy Vee will be a welcome store to Bloomington for you. But unless the prices are in line with Walmart, Kroger or Meijer I probably won't be patronizing the store. Sad because I liked every part of the Hy Vee in Peoria except their prices.

olhoser
olhoser

With most supermarkets running at near bare bones staffing, I am concerned how many layoffs this will cause and degradation of service in existing supermarkets.

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