Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Developers say grocery store still on the way

April 25, 2007

There will be a grocery store in Basehor.

But residents are just going to have to wait a little bit longer.

Ed McIntosh and John Bell of Benchmark Management raised some excitement last October when they announced they would be building a grocery store in the Wolf Creek Junction development at U.S. 24-40 and 155th Street.

While construction on the 50,000-square-foot supermarket has missed the target start date of late February by nearly two months, McIntosh said there was no room for doubt. There will be a grocery store in the near future.

"We're going as fast as we can," he said. "There are just a lot of things that go into this. If we were building tomorrow, it wouldn't be soon enough."

McIntosh and Bell also have made an important addition to their partnership. Kevin Barclay has been chosen as the operations manager and third owner of the soon-to-be supermarket, Wolf Creek Marketplace.

The 32-year grocer veteran has been involved in the business since he was 17 years old with Safeway stores in the Kansas City area. He most recently was the store director for a Price Chopper in the area and currently owns a small gas and grocery operation in Kidder, Mo. The trio met through their supplier, Affiliated Foods Midwest, based in Norfolk, Neb., when Barclay inquired about buying his own store.

"They (McIntosh and Bell) were wanting to build a store, but needed a grocery person to help run the store," Barclay said. "I will be the individual that actually runs the store."

Barclay lives in Kidder with his wife, Debra, and their two sons, but he said he most likely would relocate to the Basehor area.

"You need the community involvement; community contact," he said. "The community would look at me as an absentee owner, and we don't want that."

McIntosh said he and Bell checked out the Price Chopper formerly run by Barclay and said that while it was not a brand new facility, it was well-kept. McIntosh said he was confident Barclay was the right person to run the store.

"I think Kevin is a good business partner," he said. "He'll fit well. He has like thinking with a small community. We really couldn't have picked anyone better for the job."

The new goal is to start construction on Wolf Creek Marketplace in June with completion before the holidays in December, McIntosh said. The project still i in the design and planning stage. Once plans are completed, they will need to be approved by the city, which McIntosh added has been cooperative throughout the whole process.

"We don't want to hurry through this and do a bad job," he said. "We want to make sure we get a nice building that will work for us for a long time."

Wolf Creek Marketplace will feature a pharmacy, deli with cafeteria area, bakery, ethnic foods section, a full line of natural and organic foods, a full-service meat department, floral department and fresh produce. Nevertheless, McIntosh, Bell and Barclay are looking for input from the community. Residents are asked to go to the "contact us" section of www.benchmark-management.com to voice their opinions on what products they would like to see in the new store.

"We want as much community involvement as we can," McIntosh said. "We want to make them a part of it. What kind of groceries we're going to sell has a lot to do with their input."

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