The retailer plans to open a new bike shop and warehouse in the former Dahl’s grocery store at 50th Street and E.P. True Parkway. As part of the move, it will close its Jordan Creek area shop.
One of central Iowa’s biggest bike dealers is shaking up its footprint.
Bike World plans to close its West Des Moines store and its Des Moines warehouse and replace them with a new store and warehouse inside the former Dahl’s grocery store at 50th Street and E.P. True Parkway in West Des Moines.
The owners of Bike World bought the empty building in late 2016 and started renovating it earlier this month. They hope to open the new store by late 2017 or early 2018 – in time for Bike World’s annual February warehouse sale.
“Having our warehouse and store under one roof will make logistics very easy for us,” said Bif Ridgeway, son of company founder and owner Forest Ridgeway.
Moving to the new location means closing Bike World’s relatively new Jordan Creek area store. The shop opened in 2010 in the Village of Ponderosa, a high-end development that has grown in fits and starts since faltering during the recession.
Bike World owns the West Des Moines store and will try to sell or lease the space once it moves to the new location, Ridgeway said.
As part of the move, Bike World will also close its warehouse at 2401 Hickman Road in Des Moines. The company will likely try to sell that property as well, he said.
Bike World will continue to operate its stores in Urbandale and Ames.
Contractors began demolition work inside the 55,000-square-foot grocery store in recent weeks. Ridgeway said the company plans to overhaul the interior, add a new roof, install new heating and cooling systems and revamp the exterior.
“We’re essentially gutting it,” he said.
The grocery store closed in 2015 amid Dahl’s bankruptcy. Kum & Go bought the property from Dahl’s and built a gas station in the parking lot before selling the grocery store portion of the property to the Ridgeway family for $1.575 million, property records show.
Bike World plans to occupy about half of the former grocery store – probably 25,000 to 30,000 square feet, Ridgeway said.
The Ridgeways are looking for a couple other tenants to occupy the rest of the building.
New life for closed Dahl’s stores
The Dahl’s on E.P. True Parkway is just one of the former grocery stores getting new life. The closed Dahl’s at 3400 E. 33rd St. in Des Moines is set to open this month as Affordable Family Storage, a climate-controlled self-storage business.
It will feature 250 storage units ranging from 25 to 250 square feet, said owner Trent Overhue.
Overhue’s business, Northern States Investments, previously had a contract to purchase the E.P. True Parkway Dahl’s and planned to turn it into a similar storage business, but the deal fell through when the city objected to the plan. Overhue said city officials wanted the front portion of the building turned into retail space, which didn’t think was financial feasible.
Repurposing empty big box stores is challenging because of the buildings’ large footprints and the negative perceptions that can accumulate when a property sits empty, developers say.
Of the 10 Des Moines area Dahl’s stores that closed when the company folded, seven were purchased by Kansas City-based Associated Wholesale Grocers, which turned them into Price Chopper or Cash Saver stores. The Price Chopper at 15500 Hickman Road in Clive has since closed.
A consignment shop has announced plans to renovate the former Dahl’s at 86th Avenue and Hickman Road.
The Dahl’s on North Ankeny Boulevard, which closed a year before the grocery chain went under, was among the first to be remodeled. Ankeny real estate mogul Denny Elwell bought the building and renovated it into space for a restaurant, fitness center, a food packaging business and several other retailers.
Ridgeway said the owners of Bike World toured the former Ankeny Dahl’s multiple times to learn how to repurpose the West Des Moines property.
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