UI students shocked by Kum & Go closure

University of Iowa students have strong feelings and connections with Kum & Go.


Emily Nyberg

A former Kum & Go is seen on Burlington Street in Iowa City on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. The store closed to the public on Friday, April 31.

Hannah Lipski, News Reporter

The future of the plot of land on 25 W. Burlington St. where a Kum & Go gas station used to sit remains undecided.

The Kum & Go convenience store and gas station closed March 20, and construction to remove the gas tanks began shortly after. Kum & Go is a convenience store chain based out of Des Moines that operates 400 stores in 13 states, mainly in the Midwest.

Wendy Ford, economic development coordinator for the City of Iowa City, said she does not know of anything planned to take Kum & Go’s place.

“I know that, at one time, the folks that built the apartments behind [Kum & Go] really wanted that corner,” Ford said.

Ford said unless the property becomes a problem, the infrastructure will stay untouched until the next business takes over.  She also said that the expenses and responsibilities of removing the gas tanks fell on Kum & Go.

According to March 22 Iowa City Assessor’s Office reports, the property owned by Hippee Oil Company with the gas station was appraised at $876,000, and the Kum and Go store owned by Quik Trip Corp. was appraised at $389,250.

Ford said the other Kum & Go locations in Iowa City — 323 E. Burlington St., 731 S. Riverside Drive, 2303 Muscatine Ave., and 955 Mormon Trek Blvd — will remain open.

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Charles Andreski, the assistant manager of the 323 E. Burlington St. location, said the West Burlington Street location operated in an older building that had been around for a few decades.

“They believed there was too many Kum & Go’s in the area,” Andreski said.

The employees from the former location were transferred to other locations in the area following the closure, Andreski said.

UI first-year student Liv Arrowsmith said she was unaware of the Kum & Go closing before seeing the construction.

 “I just walked by it one day, and I was like, ‘Literally what?’” Arrowsmith said. “Like, it was just stripped of everything.”

Arrowsmith said she visited the convenience store and gas station right before it closed, and the store was the closest place for her to get groceries, as she lives in Hillcrest Residence Hall.

 “It was easy to grab something if I needed it quickly, and now I don’t have that,” she said.

UI first-year student Garrett Lamb also said he didn’t notice the business was shutting down until he noticed the logo’s absence.

“I do think it’s a little unfortunate just because it’s like always open like when the C-Stores are closed on the west side [residence halls],” Lamb said.

Lamb said he felt a lot of students utilized the store, especially after working out at the UI’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, which was across the street from the Kum & Go.

 “It was cheap and easily accessible,” he said. “It was nice to have it while it was around.”