Grocery shoppers can look forward to new options in Columbia

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | 8:41 p.m. CDT; updated 2:51 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 28, 2008

COLUMBIA — Last week, Moser’s Discount Foods owner Roger Moser announced his plan to open a second location on the north side of Columbia. Work has already begun on the new store at the intersection of Range Line Street and Brown School Road. The store is scheduled to open by December.

Hy-Vee Inc., an Iowa-based supermarket chain, is also looking to expand in Columbia, Chris Fresleben, a spokeswoman for the grocer, said.

Although they fell behind their initially estimated schedule last year, Hy-Vee is still pursuing plans to open two new stores in Columbia, she said.

One will be located on East Nifong Boulevard in the Rock Bridge Shopping Center; the other will be off Conley Road in the Broadway Marketplace mall.

Fresleben said that both locations are still available and the company is hopeful about development.

She estimates it will be least another year before the first new store is open.

The first set of plans submitted last year had to be revised to comply with city ordinances regarding storm-water management, which set back construction dates, said David Nichols, manager of engineering and inspections for the city.

Nichols said the Hy-Vee site plans have all since passed. However, he is unsure the status of the building plans, which are reviewed by another department.

The new Moser’s will serve an area where the nearest option for shoppers is Gerbes Supermarket on Paris Road, about three miles southeast of the new location.

Residents near the site expressed excitement over the new addition to their neighborhood.

“Gas is so high it’s hard to go across town just for groceries,” said Eugene Pierce, who lives just north on Prathersville Road. “It’ll be just a hop, skip and a jump away now.”

Moser said the city development on the northside created a good opportunity for his company’s expansion.

“The new roads gave me the encouragement to get off the fence post,” Moser said. “The northside is looking a lot better and has a lot going for it.”

Even those residents who don’t generally shop at Moser’s admit the location will be convenient for others in the area.

Hy-Vee will face much closer competition, moving in just across Providence Road from another Gerbes on Nifong, and a Wal-Mart Supercenter already within the Broadway Marketplace mall.

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