The announcement that Hy-Vee will be closing its First Ave. location in Cedar Rapids next month has been met with disappointment and anger by many, including Cedar Rapids city officials. It turns out they have good reason to be angry with the grocery store chain. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Hy-Vee assured the city that a new five year lease had been signed last November.

The Gazette reports that Cedar Rapids city officials have provided the public with a timeline of discussions with Hy-Vee about the First Ave. store dating back to last year. It began May 1, 2023 when Hy-Vee officials declared their intent to shut down the Cedar Rapids location. On May 19th, city officials met with representatives of the property owner, Net Lease Capital Advisors. A second meeting was held May 22nd.

According to the Gazette, Net Lease Capital Advisors informed city officials on September 13th that there was an agreement in principal for Hy-Vee to renew the lease for five years. On November 15th, it was confirmed that the five year lease was a done deal. The Gazette reports emails sent to city officials confirm the agreement. So what allowed Hy-Vee to close the location despite the lease agreement?

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The Gazette reports that while city officials thought everything was a done deal, ownership of the property changed hands. On January 24th, Delaware based Agree Limited Partnership took ownership. City officials say they have yet to have any conversations with the new owners. The Gazette reports that a Hy-Vee spokesperson stated that they will work with the landlord to find a new tenant for the space. They did not comment about whether Hy-Vee communicated with the new owners about the store closure.

The Gazette reports that the city is also trying to find out if the lease will allow another grocery store to be built on the property. Hy-Vee officials did not comment on whether they will hold the First Ave. building through the years of its lease, which would block another business from using that location.

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