Proposed Site of Hy-Vee Distribution Center Draws Concern

September 19, 2017 12:18 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- Several Austin residents who live near the site of a proposed Hy-Vee distribution center voiced their concerns about the plan at a city council meeting Monday night.



At the meeting, neighbors raised a series of issues, from traffic patterns and noise to home values.


"I'm not denying it's a benefit to Austin, but what about those of us who are directly impacted who live right there," neighbor Doug Bergemann said.


Friday, the city and Hy-Vee announced the company had selected Austin as a potential site for a new, one million-square-foot distribution center. The company is under contract to purchase a 150-acre site west of Interstate 90 along Oakland Avenue West.


The land Hy-Vee is considering was annexed into the city within the past few weeks.


A company representative said they looked at multiple sites in several states, including a potential site in Albert Lea, before ultimately choosing Austin.


"They were all good opportunities, there's a number of things that play into a decision such as this, and at the end of the day Austin came to the top," Peter Hosch, the group vice president of real estate for Hy-Vee, said.


Mayor Tom Stiem, a proponent of the project, said the company considered several locations in the city but found only one that fits their needs.


"This project is extremely site-specific. We lose the site, and there's a probability that the whole project wouldn't happen," he said.


State law requires an environmental impact study be completed on a project of this scale. That study could be completed by August 2018. Hy-Vee has said they hope to begin construction in 2019.


Logan Reigstad

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