More Grocery Stores in Columbia
The first store will be in Rock Bridge Plaza at the intersection of Nifong and Providence. The second location will be off Conley Road at the old Megamarket.
Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Don Laird is glad to see those empty buildings go.
"I think one of the good things about this is that it takes up some space that has been empty for a long time, two large retail areas that have not been utilized," Laird said.
Each store will employ about 300 workers. Hyvee plans to tear down the buildings and start from scratch.
"You certainly have construction jobs that will go with it," said Laird.
The existing Hyvee has been open for six years.
A Hyvee spokeswoman said Columbia's size, population and traffic flow make it a good location to expand. Laird agrees Columbia's growth attracts businesses.
"Columbia has grown 1.5 percent to 2 percent per year for many years," Laird said. "So it's very much a town that you can count on with its growth."
But with the new stores going in near two Wal-Marts, shoppers wish Hyvee or some grocery store would come to their neighborhoods.
"I would absolutely love if a grocery store would come up north," Columbia resident Marcie Davenport said. "I think they need to spread them out a little better."
With three Wal-Marts, three Gerbes and a Schnucks, Davenport says she doesn't know if it's all necessary.
"I think Columbia already has a lot to offer for shopping," she said. "Whether it will be a better place? I don't think it'll make that big of a difference."