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Hy-Vee Plans Expansion, Convenience Store in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa Hy-Vee Inc. on Wednesday said it is planning some major changes for two of its stores in a northeast Cedar Rapids neighborhood.

The West Des Moines-based food and drugstore chain is seeking city approval for a 17,000-square-foot expansion of its supermarket at 3235 Oakland Rd. NE. The proposed addition would increase the size of the store to 66,000 square feet.

Hy-Vee said it plans to close the Hy-Vee Drugstore across the street from the supermarket at 1440 32nd St. NE and merge the pharmacy operations into the Hy-Vee food store. It wants to demolish the drug store building and construct a convenience store and gas station on the site.

Plans for the store expansion and gas station construction have been submitted to the city for approval. Completion of the project would require rezoning of some residential property that Hy-Vee owns to the south of the existing store, as well as rezoning of the drug store site.

"Our Oakland Road store has served as a destination for shoppers in this neighborhood for many years," said Tom Watson, vice president, Eastern Region for Hy-Vee. "We are looking forward to providing customers in this area with a larger, up-to-date facility and many new services."

The expanded Hy-Vee store, in addition to pharmacy services, would feature a large food court with Chinese Express, Italian Express, Hy-Vee's Kitchen, delicatessen and salad bar departments. The store also would house a HealthMarket offering a large selection of natural and organic products and foods for special dietary needs.

Plans also call for a Caribou Coffee outlet and a Hy-Vee Club room that will be available for meetings or special events.

Watson said current employees of the Hy-Vee Drugstore would be offered positions at the expanded Hy-Vee food store. In addition, as many as 25 full-time and 100 part-time positions could be created by the expansion.

If Hy-Vee's plans are approved by the city, Watson said construction could begin in late spring or early summer of 2011. The Hy-Vee Drugstore would remain open until the pharmacy department in the Hy-Vee is ready for occupancy.

After the drug store closes, construction work would begin on the gas station and convenience store. The entire project is expected take just over a year to complete.

Hy-Vee operates convenience stores and gas stations near its supermarkets at 3935 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE in Cedar Rapids, 3600 Highway 151 in Marion, 1914 Eighth St. in Coralville and 260 Stevens Dr. in Iowa City.

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