New Hy-Vee planned for Austin as grocery chain expands throughout Minnesota

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Hy-Vee continues to expand its footprint in southern Minnesota.

This week, the Austin Port Authority agreed to a deal that would turn the troubled Oak Park Mall property into a Hy-Vee, with the deal expected to be finalized in November, the Austin Daily Herald reports.

Work on the new store could begin this winter, the Austin Daily Herald says, and it will have "a lot of different new things that you don't typically see in a grocery store," Hy-Vee manager Todd Hepler told the paper.

The 60,000- to 90,000-square-foot store is expected to resemble the chain's newest stores in Rochester (one opened there Tuesday, the Rochester Post Bulletin says) and in the Twin Cities, with a large full-service Market Fresh Grille restaurant and bar, in-store dietitians and chefs, a drive-through pharmacy and sushi bar, among other amenities, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports.

Helper calls the store a "major win" for the community, noting the new store means staffing levels will likely increase from about 365 to nearly 600, the Austin Daily Herald notes.

Hy-Vee opens fourth Rochester store

The 94,000-square-foot store in Rochester, which opened Tuesday on West Circle Drive Northwest, has an expanded health market section, and two windmills in the parking lot that produce energy for electric car charger stations, the Post Bulletin notes, as well as a wild game section and a full-service restaurant, ABC 6 reports.

It's the fourth store in the city.

"Hy-Vee has been very successful in the Rochester market. Rochester, as a community, is obviously growing. We all know that. Which gives Hy-Vee the opportunity to expand," store director Chad Hartogh told ABC 6 of the new store's opening.

More Twin Cities stores in the works

The Iowa-based, employee-owned chain of supermarkets in the Midwest is ambitiously expanding throughout the state, recently opening stores in New Hope and Oakdale, with plans to open two more stores in Lakeville and Brooklyn Park next year, reports note.

After that, Hy-Vee has a goal of adding four to five supermarkets in the Twin Cities per year, the Rochester Post Bulletin says, with Eagan and Savage likely being the next locations.

The changing grocery scene in the Twin Cities after Rainbow Foods left the market last year has allowed for Hy-Vee to enter the market, reports have said. Although, the Star Tribune noted the chain faces a tough battle in the area to unseat the local leader Cub Foods.

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