Hy-Vee Delays Construction of Proposed Distribution Center in Austin

November 01, 2017 10:56 PM

(ABC 6 News) – Hy-Vee has hit the pause button on the possible construction for a third distribution center.  The proposed distribution center site lies between I-90 and County Road 46.

"We were notified that Hy-Vee will be delaying the timeline for the project," Development Corporation of Austin President John Garry said.


Hy-Vee is putting its preliminary plans for a 2019 groundbreaking on hold.

In a statement Wednesday, the company said it is evaluating if the distribution center is needed at all.

"We're all aware of how many initiatives they have going on throughout the Midwest, so if something came up that would cause them reconsider the timeline of the project, it's understandable, even if it's a little disappointing, it's understandable," Garry said.  

In September, people voiced their concerns about the proposed site location.

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

However, a Hy-Vee spokesperson said that did not factor into the decision.  The company said the delay is in part because of a shift in customers’ wants and needs, which prompted them to re-evaluate their strategy for new stores.

Many in the community look at the possible distribution center as a way for the city to flourish.

"We need more job opportunities for the mid-20s, 30s, [and] 40s people," Austin resident RaNae Bohm said.  

Bohm said it would only benefit Austin's economy to have more people living and working in the city.

"More opportunity to keep them here instead of having them go off to the [Twin] Cities and Rochester, where we can keep them home where we can keep the businesses going,"  Bohm said.

People like Bohm and Garry are just hoping everything works out.

"The fact that there might be another year or two in the process; all things considered we're mainly focused on making sure the project happens here," Garry said.

If Hy-Vee does decide to go forward with the project, it will take about a year to get through Minnesota's required environmental impact process.


Elise Romas

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