City contracts for grocery store study
The De Soto City Council approved last Thursday funding for a feasibility and market study for a grocery store in De Soto.
Councilman Ron McDaniel and Mayor Dave Anderson told the council last month that area grocers they visited all said such a study was the needed first step in recruiting a store. The community has been without a grocery store since Morse Market closed two years ago.
Last Thursday, the council approved a $6,000 contract with Dakota Worldwide to perform the study. The contract also provides for the payment of expenses of up to $1,200 to the Minneapolis, Minn., firm.
De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said De Soto Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council executive director Sara Ritter suggested a local firm, Development Research Corp. owned by Kent Crippin, as another alternative for the study. He, however, recommended Dakota based on the model it used and the near identical costs.
The recommendation was popular with the council. McDaniel said Dakota provided the market study used by the developer of the recently opened supermarket in Basehor.
A past feasibility study of the De Soto market, which indicated the city wasn't an attractive location until its population grew to 10,000, was suspect because it was performed by a large grocery chain uninterested in competition to its existing stores, he said.
In its proposal to the city, Dakota's senior market analyst Mike Des Jardins said the study will research the feasibility of a grocery store in De Soto as well as the best possible sites, store types and sizes.
Among the considerations to be considered in the analysis will be an evaluation of competitors, potential market area and possible traffic access needs.
A model — with its evaluation of sites, sales projections, size and type — will be available for the use of “generic” developers, Des Jardins wrote. Models for specific developers can be produces with a “minor fee” for computer time, he wrote.
Field work would start with payment of 50 percent of the fee, with preliminary findings available from 10 days to two weeks after the field work was done. The study would be finished 10 days after that.
Guilfoyle said money from the city's transient sales tax fund would pay for the study.