‘Back to the drawing board’ for Speedy Market expansion

Tom Spriegl at Tim and Tom’s Speedy Market wants you to know that come November and December, Speedy will still be open with your Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas sausage.

“We aren’t going anywhere,” Spriegl said.

After Spriegl and contractor Del Anderson presented preliminary plans last month to build a new store next to the current building to the St. Anthony Park Community Council’s Land Use Committee, word on the street was that the beloved neighborhood grocery store was looking to move from its spot at the corner of Doswell and Como avenues in St. Anthony Park.

Not true, Spriegl said. He and co-owner Tim Faacks were hoping to build a new store next to the current one while keeping the market open for business during construction.

“Speedy Market is bursting at the seams,” Spriegl said. They were planning to increase their current 5,000-square-foot store space by building a 12,000-square-foot twostory market with room for a restaurant next to the existing building by using the property just north of the store, which Speedy bought two years ago. Pedestrian access to the new store would have been on Como and a parking lot was planned on the Doswell Avenue side, where the current building stands. The property to the north would need to be rezoned and that was part of the ask when Spriegl presented the plans at the Jan. 4 Land Use Committee meeting.

Land Use Committee members expressed concern about placing a parking lot on the corner of Doswell and Como and requested that plans be reworked to put parking at the rear of the proposed building, Spriegl said. That puts all plans back at “square one,” he said. The plan was to keep the current building open while they built a new one next to it. Closing the market during any remodeling or expansion is not an option, he said.

The Land Use Committee declined to recommend a zoning change at this time and requested that the market explore more design options.

Spriegl understands “what [the Land Use Committee is] trying to do,” he said. “The city wants zero lot lines,” which means to build a new building at the current location Speedy would lose the highly visible space on Como Avenue that the market uses for its garden center, where it sells plants in spring, summer and fall.

“We really are back to the drawing board,” he said. Staying open in the current location and keeping the market’s 40 employees working during construction “is our biggest priority.”

They’ll keep looking for new design ideas, he said, but it won’t happen anytime soon.

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