Hy-Vee makes plans for Clear Lake

(Above) Embree Development purchased property in the Willow Creek Urban Renewal Area, located north of Highway 18 near North 20th Street. -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy

After years of speculation that a Hy-Vee grocery store and convenience mart would be coming to Clear Lake, the Clear Lake City Council confirmed Monday night that the process is underway.

Clear Lake City Administrator Scott Flory told the council that discussions with Embree Development Group actually started over a year ago.  

A second letter of intent was approved at the Sept. 21 council meeting with the Embree Development Group, of Georgetown, Texas for the development of a six-and one-half acre parcel of property in the Willow Creek Urban Renewal Area, located north of Highway 18 near North 20th Street.

The proposed project would be an $8 million, 50,000 square foot commercial and retail building with a surface parking lot on approximately six and one-half acres.  The city would offer an incremental property tax rebate for 10 years not to exceed $850,000 and a $350,000 offset to be used by the developer to finance municipal water and sanitary sewer service main extensions and service laterals. An additional $400,000 would be provided for the relocation of a 60-inch city storm sewer line.

At the Monday night meeting, the council approved deleting property from the Clear Lake Consolidated Urban Renewal Area and deleting certain property from the Tax Increment Financing District inside that area. Next month a public hearing will be held by the council on the expansion of the Consolidated Urban Renewal Area.  An amendment to the existing Urban Renewal Plan for the area is also on the agenda. 

Flory told the council that the changes needed to be done so development incentives could be offered. “If you recall from our letter of intent, we have a 10-year property tax rebate penciled in as part of an economic development incentive package. Obviously, with only three years remaining on the area north of the highway right-of-way line, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill a 10-year rebate agreement, so we’d only have three years left.”

Flory continued saying the public hearing on Nov.15 would then add back the area where the Hy-Vee development would be. 

“We’ll take that area out, delete it from the TIF District ordinance, but we’ll turn around, hold a public hearing, consider an ordinance on the 15th of November to add that area back in giving that area a new 20-year life under the economic development funding for the projects in that area,” said Flory.

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