New grocery store planned for north Columbia

Thursday, November 1, 2007 | 8:28 p.m. CDT; updated 4:23 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Roger Moser has revived his efforts to open a grocery store in north Columbia.

Moser, who owns several grocery stores in Mid-Missouri, recently purchased a 3.5-acre plot of land with plans to build a 25,000-square-foot grocery store near Range Line Street and Brown School Road. It would be the second grocery store in north Columbia, a hotspot in residential growth.

Last year’s attempt to open a grocery store in north Columbia at Range Line Street and Smiley Lane failed after Moser and the Columbia City Council failed to agree on the proper height of light posts. Moser wanted 30-foot poles, but the city insisted on a limit of 25 feet. The city council now allows light poles up to 35 feet tall.

Moser still thinks the market is ripe.

“We did a demographic survey, and there was a need indicated,” Moser said.

Moser said one reason he’s trying again is because road expansion projects are finally coming to fruition, such as the planned expansion of Highway 763 and improvements to Brown School Road. He thinks the development can help the new store as well as alleviate existing traffic problems.

“The north side could turn into another south side in ten years,” Moser said, referring to the quality of roads in south Columbia.

Diane Oerly. president of the Oakland Manor neighborhood association, said another grocery store would be a welcome addition.

“I moved here 19 years ago and all we had was the Gerbes store,” she said, referring to the store on Paris Road. “How many other people live here 19 years later and we still only have the Gerbes store?”

Moser’s building plans are pending city approval, but he doesn’t foresee any problems.

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