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Dillons partners with community on trail project at new Marketplace Store


Prepping for a flagship

Dillons megastore's groundbreaking event includes healthy prospect.
By Kayla Regan - The Hutchinson News - kregan@hutchnews.com

Thirteen gold shovels dug into the Dillons Marketplace construction site at 30th Avenue and Waldron Street Thursday afternoon, marking the first phase of building what the company is saying will be its flagship store.

"It's an investment that's going to be here for years and years to come," said Joe Grieshaber, president of Dillon Food Stores Division.


Community leaders, Dillons employees and representatives from Key Construction spoke at the ceremony. All expressed appreciation for Dillons and its involvement in the community. Jon Daveline, interim president of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, said the marketplace would be a destination for shoppers in south-central Kansas.

"When you think of the Dillons store and Dillons name, you think of Hutchinson and vice versa," Daveline said.

City Manager John Deardoff had a similar opinion. "When we found out it was going to be a marketplace, we were ecstatic, he said. "There's no doubt in my mind it will have a positive impact on retail in the community."

Mayor David Razo had a more personal connection with the store.

"I also had the privilege of working for the Dillons bakery years ago," he said.

Dillons not only broke ground on the site Thursday, it also announced a partnership with area entities to help make the company's hometown healthier. While speaking at the ceremony, Aubrey Abbott Patterson, president and executive director of the Hutchinson Community Foundation, announced that Dillons would build a trailhead connecting the trail that runs from 43rd Avenue to Plum Street. With the help of a $15,000 grant from The Community Foundation, as well as funding from Dillons, the trailhead will be located at the west side of the new Dillons lot. Abbott Patterson said it would function as a small park, with trees and benches. A similar park area will be nearby at the corner of the Farmer's National Bank lot. Friends of the Trail and the Tree Fund will help furnish benches and landscaping.

Abbott Patterson said the idea came after Mark Fenton, a public health, planning and transportation consultant, visited in the spring. He recognized that connecting the trail to Dillons would be a good way to get people to bike or walk to the destination. Abbott Patterson said people could easily drive to Dillons, grab a coffee and take a walk with their kids, come back to do their shopping and drive home.

"I'm so proud of the partnership between this group of citizens who said, 'This is something we'd like to see,' and Dillons, who said, 'Yeah, I can do that for you,' " said Abbott Patterson.

Grieshaber said he was happy for the community's partnership with Dillons, which employs about 700 people in the area.

"Teamwork makes the dream work," he said.

Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said the 30th Avenue and Plum Street Dillons won't close until the new Dillons is open sometime next year.
 
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