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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Hy-Vee spokeswoman says company not pursuing Hannibal sites

  • One of the hottest rumors in Hannibal since Kroger departed the community late last year is that Hy-Vee was preparing to fill that void. But at this point it appears that is not in the cards.
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  • One of the hottest rumors in Hannibal since Kroger departed the community late last year is that Hy-Vee was preparing to fill that void. But at this point it appears that is not in the cards.
    In the last week or so the rumor reached a full boil. It was widely circulated that a local firm – Heimer Construction – had been contracted to build the new store on property owned by developer Tom Marx, east of the Lowe’s store on Stardust Drive.
    A representative with Heimer reported it had “no information at this time” regarding a potential project. Marx did not return a phone message.
    Contacted Tuesday, Ruth Comber, assistant vice president for media relations with the Hy-Vee company, termed the local rumor as “news to me.” She added, however, “that doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
    However, after checking with other officials at the company’s West Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters, Comber spoke with more confidence Wednesday morning regarding the speculation.
    “We aren’t actively pursuing any sites in Hannibal, so if somebody’s coming next to the Lowe’s store it’s not Hy-Vee,” she said. “That doesn’t mean it won’t change in the future.”
    At city hall, Mark Rees reported having had no contact with officials from Hy-Vee.
    “It’s not unusual for when a developer comes to town and they have an idea about a parcel to be developed that they will be invited to have an informal pre-development meeting with all the interested parties of the city so, one, we get to know each other, and, two, we can lay the groundwork for a smooth permitting process so the city’s rules and regulations won’t hinder their development. We haven’t had a meeting like that as far as Hy-Vee is concerned,” he said, adding that he too has heard the Hy-Vee to Hannibal rumors.
    While Hy-Vee may not be building a store on the site, that doesn’t mean the Marx property next to Lowe’s is not going to be developed soon. Mark Rees, city engineer, acknowledged meeting last week with Marx and MECO engineering. During that meeting Rees was given a site plan. After that plan is given the green light the next step would be for the developer to seek a building permit.
    “I think a little bit later today (Tuesday) I will be able to approve this site plan and move it on to the next step,” said the city engineer.
    Talks between the city and developer have been ongoing for some time regarding the Stardust site.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This property between Aldi’s and Lowe’s, we’ve been working on that site plan for over four years,” said Rees. “I think they’ve finally got it to where they’re interested in receiving the permits.”
    According to the plans on file at city hall, the development will consist of two structures. One is 100 feet deep by 260 feet wide. The other is 163 deep by 80 feet wide.
    “Those two buildings join each other with parking out front and access roads behind. It’s a typical development of this sort,” said Rees.
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