HARTFORD — Construction of the new Festival Foods location in Hartford is well underway. The company anticipates finishing up construction early next year.

Aaron Aspenson, Festival Foods store planning senior director, stated that footings and foundation have gone in and they are now working to finish the walls, begin steel erection and begin roofing to make the shell water-tight.

The grocery store is part of the Hartford Plaza Redevelopment Concept. The redevelopment, at 1201 through 1275 Bell Avenue, includes a subdivision and phasing potential, residential space, commercial buildings and outlots.

Crews began razing the former Kmart building over the summer following Plan Commission approval of the demolition on June 14. The Common Council approved a certified survey map to divide the old Kmart property into two lots and rezone one of them to allow more flexibility in future stages of development.

Upon completion, Festival Foods will open in a 70,213square-foot, standalone building positioned on the property similarly to where the Kmart store was. The location is expected to add about 200 jobs to the area.

The Shoppes at Bell Avenue, another building being constructed as part of the redevelopment, will measure 11,327 square feet on the northeast corner of the site near the intersection of Bell Avenue and Novak Street. The multi-tenant building will have six retail spaces and a façade with similar characteristics to the Festival Foods to match.

Festival Foods offers a wide variety of items, such as meat, seafood and sushi, deli items, bakery items, produce, wine and spirits and more. The company is also committed to community involvement. In communities they serve, the company hosts food programs and sponsors community events, including Food for Neighbors, Paw Away Hunger, Festival Foods Fireworks and the Festival Foods Turkey Trot.

The first Festival Foods grocery store opened in 1990 in Onalaska and grew to other areas including Marshfield, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Eau Claire and Holmen. In January, Festival Foods President CEO Mark Skogen said the company needed a bigger presence in the Milwaukee metro area. The development is the largest area the company has purchased.