A new billboard for Hy-Vee went up off of Hwy. 169 at Union Street in St. Peter. The grocery chain announced it would be taking over the old Shopko space in St. Peter, moving in a full grocery store, in addition to an already announced pharmacy. (Photo courtesy of Mike Hahn)

Hy-Vee is not just bringing a pharmacy to St. Peter’s old Shopko building; it’s bringing the whole grocery store.

According to Vice President of Communications at corporate Hy-Vee, Tina Potthoff, the building off Hwy. 169 in northern St. Peter will be renovated to accommodate a pharmacy and grocery store. Construction is expected to start this summer with the store opening in early 2020.

“I think we’re always looking for good places to have a full-fledged grocery store. St. Peter was a great community for us to have more than a pharmacy,” Hy-Vee’s Potthoff said. “As we were looking at it, there are a lot of communities that are small, medium, large that we’re in. That is one that with the people we’d be serving with the pharmacy, we could offer even more.”

She added, “We’re thrilled to be part of the St. Peter community.”

The St. Peter Hy-Vee, in addition to a pharmacy, is expected to have a full fledged grocery store, plus food service, offering lunch and grab-and-go items, like pizza and Chinese food. It will also have a flower shop area, deli and bakery.

Potthoff said the company is considering options for a coffee shop at the location but has no definite plans to do so.

The footprint will be smaller than the two stores in Mankato, and Potthoff said the company has no immediate plans for expanding the building. The St. Peter Shopko building is about 36,000 square feet; the uptown Mankato store, first opened in 1997, is about 68,500 square feet.

“The footprint will be smaller than what you might see in Mankato or the Twin Cities,” she said. “A lot of the recent stores have been 6,000 to 30,000 or 40,000 square feet. Our stores are no longer 100 percent large format stores, so we’re looking at making this building our own. Our stores are a mixtures of sizes these days. Our new stores are no longer all 90,000 square feet. We’re exploring different sizes, as we continue to grow.”

Hy-Vee will be leasing, rather than owning the building, a common move for the company.

Shopko announced store closures, including its St. Peter location, in 2018. In early 2019, Hy-Vee announced it would be using part of the old Shopko building in St. Peter for a pharmacy. It had not previously announced plans to bring in the grocery store.

Reach Editor Philip Weyhe at 507-931-8567 or follow him on Twitter @EditorPhilipWeyhe.

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