By DEANA STROISCH
The State Journal-Register
Posted Dec 24, 2012
Hy-Vee Co. has officially purchased the former Town & Country Shell station on MacArthur Boulevard.
Former owner Jim Benson said Hy-Vee closed on the property, 2101 S. MacArthur Blvd., last week. In October, Benson closed his business, one of the last full-service stations in Springfield, because of the competitive nature of gasoline sales and code violations cited by the city. He had owned Town & Country since 1984. “I miss the people,” he said Monday. “I would have liked to stay another four, five years.” Benson declined to disclose the sale price. The property’s assessed value is $107,387, according to Sangamon County records.
Iowa-based Hy-Vee announced plans in September 2011 to build a full-service grocery store and a gasoline station-convenience store that would bring nearly 500 jobs to the site of the old Kmart, along with the adjoining building that formerly housed Spillway Lanes bowling alley. Hy-Vee officials have said there are no specific plans yet for the Town & Country Shell station at MacArthur and Cherry Road.
Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin called the purchase of the Shell station a “win-win-win” for Benson, Hy-Vee and the residents and businesses of MacArthur Boulevard. He said Hy-Vee has spent more than $5 million to purchase properties for its project.
“Even the most loyal patrons of Benson’s Shell see the benefits of a comprehensive and unified site development on the four land parcels comprising the intersections of MacArthur with Outer Park Drive and Cherry Roads,” McMenamin said.
Plans call for Hy-Vee to demolish three buildings — the bowling alley, a Title Max store and the Shell station — and rehabilitate the old Kmart building, he said. The company has said it will do extensive landscaping, adding more than 50 trees and 500 bushes. “HyVee will dramatically transform a longtime eyesore into the pride of the near southwest side of Springfield, witnessed by a 20,000 daily vehicle count,” McMenamin said.