Casey’s plans $2.5M upgrade by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · January 18, 2013
Casey’s General Store plans to spend about $2.5 million to build a new store in West Branch, moving from downtown to the southeast corner of Interstate 80 and Baker Avenue.
For years, rumors suggested Casey’s, built 31 years ago, would rebuild, and last week Chief Financial Officer Bill Walljasper said the company purchased the gravel parking lot east of Kum & Go to double its size, offer more gas and food, and add the equivalent of two more full-time people.
The 3.15-acre lot was owned by Dean Oakes of Iowa City and leased to Werner Trucking, which shipped products for Procter & Gamble and used the lot to store trailers. The trailers have now been moved to a lot east of Sharpless Auctions.
Walljasper said construction will likely wait until the spring and he hopes the new store will open at the end of the summer.
The new store will replace the downtown location, with the downtown location closing one night and the highway location opening the next morning.
The new store will have 4,200 square feet, about twice as much as the current store, he said, with a wider coffee selection, sit-down area, more coolers -- including a beer vault -- and slate floors. The two additional employees will bake fresh bread and prepare sub sandwiches to order. They will continue to offer pizzas.
Walljasper said the West Branch store, built in July 1982, is currently landlocked, which is part of the reason for a new location.
There will be either six or eight pump islands, with four hoses per island, he said, and the local manager will determine whether to begin offering E10 ethanol or diesel fuel.
“Most of the time it’s diesel,” Walljasper said.
He said site plans should be sent to the city in 30 to 60 days.
“We would like to be ready to go” when spring comes, Walljasper said.
Casey’s owns more than 1,700 locations in the Midwest, including 479 in Iowa, according to caseys.com.