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Hy-Vee is backing out of plans to build five supermarkets in the Twin Cities metro area. 

Long-standing plans for new Hy-Vee supermarkets in Farmington, Chaska, Blaine, West St. Paul, and Maple Grove have dissolved under a new company growth strategy focused on larger store footprints. 

"Hy-Vee is adopting a new long-term growth strategy centered on building larger stores and putting more distance between future retail sites," a company spokesperson told Bring Me The News, confirming that plans for the five stores have been called-off. "As a result, we have elected to sell five parcels acquired over the past six years for smaller projects in the Twin Cities area." 

The news, first reported in the Pioneer Press on Monday, is especially challenging for the Farmington community, where the town's only grocery store closed in 2019

"It's frustrating because we've spent two years without a grocery store and nothing but empty promises," Farmington Mayor Joshua Hoyt told Bring Me The News on Tuesday.

The Farmington City Council approved Hy-Vee's plans to anchor the town's Vermillion River Crossing retail hub back in 2016.  

At the time, officials agreed to defer special assessments on the property in exchange for movement on the plans by May 2021. 

In August, with the project looking stalled out, the Farmington City Council terminated the deferral and levied a special assessment totaling roughly $2.05 million against the property. 

Despite a lack of progress, Hy-Vee representatives had told city officials the Farmington store remained a top priority, according to a city council memo from August. 

Hoyt said Hy-Vee now carries a responsibility to make right by the citizens of Farmington and reimburse the taxpayers. 

"The Farmington taxpayers are the only ones that've upheld their obligations here," he said. 

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Similar confusion surrounded the Hy-Vee store approved for Chaska off Engler Boulevard and Creek Road. 

In 2020, three years after city officials approved plans for a store, a Hy-Vee spokesperson told Southwest News Media the company was still planning to build the store. 

Plans for Hy-Vee in Blaine were approved back in 2018 and the grocer bought a 10-acre property in West St. Paul in 2019, according to the Pioneer Press. 

Looking ahead, Hoyt said he hopes the property in Farmington hits the market fast, especially after the city received a handful of serious inquiries from other grocers in the past. 

“They all said the same thing - there’s not enough market share if Hy-Vee comes here," Hoyt recalls. 

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