Hy-Vee

The Chaska City Council approved preliminary and building plans for a Hy-Vee grocery store in 2017.

Hy-Vee has scrapped plans for stores in five metro-area cities, including Chaska, saying the sites do not fit into a new company strategy that centers around building larger stores and putting more distance between future locations.

As a result, the West Des Moines, Iowa-based grocery store chain said Monday, its land in West St. Paul, Farmington, Blaine, Maple Grove and Chaska will go up for sale. Hy-Vee did not give a timetable for selling them.

Hy-Vee bought the five properties over the past six years as part of its planned expansion, but said Monday that they “are not properly situated” for the company’s long-term goal of building stores at 150,000 square feet or more. The grocer said bigger footprints are needed because of new departments and the addition of “Aisles Online” hubs, which require more space for storage and grocery pick up.

“A lot has changed since we first acquired these locations,” Jeremy Gosch, Hy-Vee’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “As customers’ shopping patterns have changed over the pandemic, we’ve determined that there is a need for larger store formats that these current sites simply are not able to accommodate.”

Hy-Vee plans to consider other sites for the new format in and around the Twin Cities, which Jeff Markey, executive vice president and chief growth officer, said “remains an important market for us.”

Hy-Vee entered the crowded Twin Cities grocery store market in 2015. Hy-Vee now has 13 metro-area locations, including a 76,000-square-foot store in Spring Lake Park that opened in May 2021. With more than 285 retail stores across eight states, Hy-Vee’s annual sales total more than $12 billion.

The Chaska City Council first approved plans for Hy-Vee in 2017. It was scheduled to open in 2020 or earlier.

The 105,000-square-foot building, with a 4,300-square-foot gas station, was slated to be located off of Engler Boulevard and Creek Road, west of Highway 212.

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