Hy-Vee Food Stores, a Chariton, Iowa-based grocery chain, was expected to announce today its plans to build a supermarket in Lawrence.
Representatives of the company confirmed that Hy-Vee was planning a Lawrence store but declined to offer additional details before a news conference scheduled for early this afternoon in Mission, where a new Hy-Vee store will open Tuesday.
The company operates 178 employee-owned grocery and drug stores under the Hy-Vee and Drug Town names.
A statement from the company said Ron Pearson, Hy-Vee's chairman, would attend the news conference and herald completion of the store in Mission and another in Gladstone, Mo., and announce plans for stores at three other locations in the Kansas City area.
Ruth Mitchell, Hy-Vee's director of communications, said one of those was in Lawrence but declined to say where the store would be built.
A MEMBER of the city's planning staff said this morning that Hy-Vee officials had not contacted the office regarding plans for a store.
Although the new Mission store has 74,000 square feet of space, the company's statement said Hy-Vee stores typically are about 10,000 square feet smaller.
One site that might accommodate such a store is a tract on the northwest corner of Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive, which the city's Western Development Plan indicates contains about 20 acres.
Former Lawrence Mayor Jack Rose, who owns an interest in the commercially zoned tract, declined comment when asked this morning whether Hy-Vee had plans for the site.
Rose said an announcement of that type would come from the company planning the development.
"I'm not in a position to tell you anything more than what you already know," he said.
IN ITS STATEMENT, the company said its new store in Mission is "a prototype for supermarkets in the latter part of the 1990s and into the year 2000."
The store features a fresh food court, which includes a Chinese restaurant, delicatessen, bakery, sandwich shop, salad bar, fresh fruit and juice bar, pasta shop, pizza shop and gourmet coffee shop. Food may be purchased for dine-in or carry-out.
The store also includes a one-hour photo processing lab and a pet supply department that offers professional veterinary consulting services, as well as space for a bank branch and an optical center.