Moser Discount Foods to open northside store by December

Friday, June 6, 2008 | 7:02 p.m. CDT; updated 2:39 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Moser’s Discount Foods owner Roger Moser announced Friday that he hopes to have a second location open in Columbia by December. Moser said excavation has already started on a 3.5-acre lot at the intersection of Range Line Street and Brown School Road on Columbia’s north side.

Construction on the 25,000-square-foot building is expected to be under way by July, Moser said. However, the excavation of the site has run into early setbacks because of excessive rain.

But Frank Dahm, estimator and project coordinator with Septagon Construction Co., remains optimistic about the project’s timeline.

“The rain has caused the excavators some delays, but we are hoping to get him open for business by Thanksgiving, if the rain stops,” Dahm said.

Moser hoped to open another location in 2006 but ran into conflict with the city regarding outdoor lighting plans. He abandoned that project without reaching an agreement.

“They didn’t have (an ordinance) at that time,” Moser said. “I felt that what they were cramming down my throat was unfair, so I walked. For the new location, they now have a lighting ordinance, which we abided by. I have no problem at all with it.”

According to previous Missourian reports, Moser’s old plans had included 30-foot light poles in the parking lot to conserve energy. A city ordinance passed in December 2006 mandates that unless certain criteria are met, light fixtures cannot exceed 28 feet.

“To build in Columbia is difficult, like a miniature Washington, D.C.,” Moser said. “Eventually you can work it out; it just takes time. It was not a simple project. It took several years, but it all worked out.”

Moser said the road construction in north Columbia persuaded him to re-evalute the area for a new store.

“The new roads gave me the encouragement to get off the fence post,” Moser said. “The roads are a big deal.”

The new store in the family-owned business will create about 40 jobs, which Moser expects to be filled largely by local workers.

“Most will be hired from Columbia,” Moser said. “People don’t like to drive far, especially with gas prices.”

Among other draws, the new store will offer meat cut by in-house butchers, a bakery and a deli. Also included in the plans are 4,000 square feet of unspecified retail space for rent.

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