Archive for Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grocery store to break ground

November 15, 2007

Basehor residents have been anxiously awaiting some visible progress on a promised grocery store for more than a year.

And, they will be able to see that progress this weekend.

Ed McIntosh and John Bell of Benchmark Management, along with grocery operations manager and third owner, Kevin Barclay, will play host to a groundbreaking ceremony for Wolf Creek Marketplace at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.

The public is invited to watch the trio along with Basehor Mayor Chris Garcia, Basehor City Council members, representatives from Affiliated Foods Midwest and other officials turn the ceremonial "first" shovel of soil for the planned 43,516-square-foot grocery store just east of 155th Street and Wolf Creek Parkway.

"We will set up on the blacktop on Wolf Creek Parkway," Barclay said. "The actual ceremony will be right at 10, but people are welcome to stop by after that. We'll be around till noon to answer any questions or talk to people."

A tent will be set up, and those in attendance can enjoy coffee and doughnuts while viewing the plans for the store and examples of building materials. Affiliated Foods Midwest, the chosen supplier for the store based in Norfolk, Neb., is bringing a truck for show.

Barclay said he has been tracking the weather and hopes it will cooperate for the event.

"The weather seems like it's going to be right for us," he said. "Partly sunny and 55."

However, the groundbreaking will not be the first dirt moved for the project. Site grading has been going on the past two weeks and is nearly complete, McIntosh said. Officials waited a little while to have the groundbreaking, he said, because they wanted people to really get a feel for what the store was going to look like and where it would be located.

The goal is to begin foundation and utility work in about 30 days, McIntosh said, but it all depends on the weather.

"It's going to take us six to seven months to build the actual building," he said. "If it's really nice this winter, we'll be open in early spring."

Other parts of the Wolf Creek Junction development, including retention ponds and streets, will be worked on simultaneously, but Wolf Creek Marketplace is set to be the first of many planned businesses to open in the development, McIntosh said.

Meyer & Associates Architects of Omaha, Neb., and MKEC Engineering Consultants Inc. of Overland Park are working on the project. A decision on the general contractor should be made in the next two weeks, McIntosh said.

Once complete, Wolf Creek Marketplace will offer a full-service meat department, deli and cafeteria, pharmacy, floral department, fresh produce, an ethnic foods section and a full line of natural and organic foods. Full- and part-time combined, the supermarket is expected to employ an estimated 100 to 120 people.

McIntosh said he and his partners are not concerned about being able to fill those positions. In fact, he said several retired people have already contacted him, inquiring about part-time employment opportunities through the new store.

"With Kevin's background, we're pretty confident," he said. "We don't anticipate a big problem doing that."

The partners said they are just happy to get the ball rolling on the project and excited for the public to see the progress that has been made on the long awaited grocery store.

"The people will really get an idea of what it's going to look like," Barclay said.

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