After the city of Leawood rejected allowing Hy-Vee to use certain sales tax monies to spruce up the interior and exterior of its store, the grocery store chained announced it was closing the State Line Road store at the end of the month.
The ensuing controversy now has the Leawood City Council reconsidering its original decision. But Hy-Vee officials say they will stick by its plans to close at the end of the month the store at 122nd Street and State Line and open a new one at 135th Street and Roe Parkway. The new location is in Overland Park.
Dozens of people showed up for Monday night's city council meeting. That led to fire officials barring some people from being in the council chambers.
Hy-Vee officials said the current shopping center is outdated and has issues, such as insufficient parking.
"There are quite a few challenges out there for any changes for redevelopment," Hy-Vee assistant vice president Pete Hosch said.
But Leawood city officials aren't giving up.
"I know for one that I and a lot of other council members are trying to be creative and keep them here," Councilman Tom Robinett said.
Leawood resident Anne Konop is worried about a vacant building becoming blighted.
"It's definitely a meeting place for the community," she said. "It's a great place. It's still going to a small grocery store where everybody is very friendly, very accommodating. You can't get that very often. We would sure like to keep it here."
With Hy-Vee now committed to the Overland Park store, some Leawood officials hope to reach an accommodation where improvements can be made and the Leawood store reopened.
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