Proposed new Hy-Vee in east Ames closer to reality

Tracy Deutmeyer

When it’s party time, Hy-Vee shoppers may not have to travel to west Ames anymore to get their pretzels and beer.

If Hy-Vee’s proposal to build a new store near the Target Center goes through, east Ames residents may be able to stay close to home to do their Hy-Vee shopping.

Ruth Mitchell, director of communications at Hy-Vee Food Stores in Des Moines, said, “We have a tentative agreement with the landlord of the center. We are also working with city officials right now and the city first needs to agree on the site.”

Paul Wiegand, Ames public works coordinator, said the city has not yet issued a permit to Hy-Vee.

He said Hy-Vee needs to meet zoning regulations for its site plan and conduct a traffic impact analysis to indicate the significant impacts the store would have on traffic at the center.

“This analysis is typical of any major site plans. Hy-Vee has told us about 2,500 vehicles will be generated from the store’s business a day,” Wiegand said.

Mitchell said part of Hy-Vee’s site plan will depend on the proposed expansion of Grand Avenue.

Wiegand said the city is looking at the possibility to extend Grand Avenue south to South Third Street. He said the city hopes to come to a decision about the expansion in late April or early May.

“We can’t judge Hy-Vee’s proposal based on the implications it would have on a potential expansion of a street,” Wiegand said.

He said the city can accept a proposal with Hy-Vee and “still leave room for expansion.”

Wiegand said if Hy-Vee meets the zoning regulations and determines the impact of traffic in the proposed area, including determining where traffic signals should be added, the city will not hold up issuing a permit.

Mitchell said the size of the proposed Hy-Vee is not quite as large as the Hy-Vee located on West Lincoln Way, which is the largest Hy-Vee in Iowa.

The new store would be comparable in size.

Mitchell said Hy-Vee officials hope to have an agreement with the city as soon as possible.

Wiegand said Hy-Vee also needs to work out an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation, which is located west of the Target Center on Lincoln Way.

He said an agreement is needed because the proposed site plan for the new store runs into land owned by the Iowa DOT.