Consumers Co-op begins Mega East upgrade
TBL has learned that Consumers Cooperative Association, which owns and operates three Mega Foods grocery stores, 18 Mega Holiday gas/convenience operations and two Mega Lube & Oil locations, has started a temporary remodel of its Mega East Grocery Store, 1201 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire, prior to rebuilding the complex over the course of the year.
"We're committed to being in this community and staying here on this site that we've been at since basically the inception of the co-op," said Mega Foods CEO Mike Buck, who added, "We seriously considered two other sites, including River Prairie (City of Altoona) and Clairemont Avenue...but we've decided to temporarily remodel the existing store and build a brand new store here".
Construction of the temporary remodel and the new, 58,000-square-foot grocery store will begin once demolition of the neighboring Heritage Motel is completed in about three weeks, according to Buck. Consumers Cooperative purchased the former motel property about four years ago and was in the process of selling the former BP gas/convenience store parcel located at the corner of South Hastings Way and Fenwick Avenue to the City of Eau Claire. However, the Eau Claire City Council this week approved the reconstruction of South Hastings Way without including land acquisition costs to the project, which would have made room for a pedestrian underpass.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be about $5.5 million, not including the purchase of new equipment. The timeline for the new store opening has not yet been finalized.
The facade of the new Mega East will face South Hastings Way and the store will be expanded to the east of the current structure. The interior will feature enhanced bakery, meat, deli and produce departments. Although the store size will be slightly smaller than the existing operation, Buck said the new space will be used more efficiently.
"The difference between this store and the new store will be the customer experience," he said.
Hoeft Builders Inc. of Eau Claire is the general contractor for the project. TBL