After more than a year of speculation and much anticipation leading up to a prospective 2019 groundbreaking for a reported more-than-1-million-square-foot distribution facility, retailer Hy-Vee has recently confirmed that it will be not be building a facility in Austin, Minnesota; the project has, for now, been cancelled.
According to local news source the Austin Daily Herald, citing a press release from City Administrator Craig Clark, the project has been suspended due to changing priorities within the company.
“We are stepping away from the project at this time, but not saying that we won’t ever revisit the facility in Austin,” Hy-Vee’s Assistant Vice President Pete Hosch stated.
Hy-Vee confirmed in September of 2017 that it was in the exploratory phases of plans to construct a more-than-1-million-square-foot facility in Austin.
“The site in Austin is being considered for the project due to its centralized location in the company’s eight state territory, interstate access as well as the community’s ample workforce,” Hy-Vee said at the time in a statement to the Des Moines Register.
In November of that year, the project was delayed and reconsidered, but a final decision was not reached until this month. Austin mayor Tom Stiehm expressed his disappointment at the news.
“This has been a long process, which started in 2016, and we would have loved to see Hy-Vee build a new distribution center in Austin,” said Mayor Stiehm. “They have been a great partner. These facts only make the news that much harder to take…We’ll still be ready should Hy-Vee reconsider, but we know other companies will take note and I feel strongly there will be other projects that come our way because of the solid ground we put forward as a community. We’ve shown businesses that we’re ready to partner with them on economic development ventures.”
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