CEDAR LAKE | The citizens of Cedar Lake showed their appreciation for the soon-to-be built Strack & Van Til on Wednesday in a vocal way.
Those who passed by the site in the morning honked their horns, yelled their approval and waved as town and store officials prepared for a formal groundbreaking at Lincoln Plaza, located off 133rd Avenue and Parrish.
“(People were asking) how are things going, when are they going to break ground?” said Diane Jostes, who represented the Chamber of Commerce at the event.
The opening of grocery store likely will be a popular event, town officials and business owners agreed. Since the old Wilco County Market shut down in fall 2010, Cedar Lake has been without a full-service grocery store.
In addition to the one in Cedar Lake, Strack & Van Til bought two other Wilco stores, one in Lowell and another in Rensselaer, said president Dave Wilkinson. Strack & Van Til elected to close the Cedar Lake store and rebuild because “the building was old and the equipment was in bad shape," Wilkinson said. "There was no way it was going to be a Strack & Van Til.”
Town Council members and other Cedar Lake officials joined Wilkinson and his team in the ceremonial digging meant to kick off the project.
“Maybe we can dig the foundation while we’re here,” Wilkinson joked. Formal excavation should begin next week and the new store is expected to open in the spring.
When complete the Cedar Lake stores will be the grocer’s 16th in Northwest Indiana. Strack’s also owns Ultra Foods, in both Illinois and Indiana, and Town and Country Market.
The Cedar Lake store will be built according to federal Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design specifications. It will be an energy efficient building using skylights for natural light, as well as LED, according to a news release.
The store will encompass 50,000 square feet and the project will also include a refurbished parking lot. There will be a Centier bank branch within.
The new store will be an important part of economic development and renewal along the 133rd corridor," said Town Council president Randy Niemeyer said. “We’re glad to have their family (become) part of our family.”