Wow! Happy New Year! Welcome to the second half of our Fiscal Year 2013. Sales and expenses are tracking very closely to budgeted amounts. Nicely done, everyone.
With thanks to everyone for your overwhelming support, after opening Willy West we returned to profitability much (2 years) sooner than planned! The Willy Street Co-op Board of Directors has approved a patronage refund for FY12 to Owners; a portion of which will be distributed to those eligible through a credit at the registers.
To learn more about Patronage Refunds, please read David Waisman’s article on page 13 of this Reader, go to this link at Cooperative Grocer for more information about patronage refunds (www.cooperativegrocer.coop/articles/2009-07-14/patronage-dividends-primer), or contact David directly at .
The Co-op has committed to a long-term strategic partnership with the FEED Kitchens project on Madison’s near north side. This project is intended to improve access to local agricultural processing and producing for wholesale and retail sales. To find out how you can support this exciting project, see the article on page 14.
In August 2012, Owners approved an expenditure of funds up to $2 million to pay for the remodel of Willy East. Since that time, we have solicited input from staff, Owners and neighbors that will be used to guide us in the development of the interior of the building. Early in the design process, we met with City of Madison staff to discuss the concept and understand the approval process under our current zoning and permitted use. At that meeting, they advised us to submit exterior design plans under the current zoning laws before the first of the year, when new zoning (TSS) will take effect.
The plan was presented to the City’s Planning and Development Office for approval under current zoning, and our permitted use for the building’s exterior, as well as to the City’s Landmarks Commission for approval within an historic district. The plans reflected input we’d received from Owners since moving to the building, through Customer Comments and Owner Survey results. At their meeting on December 10th, the Landmarks Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness. We expect to receive approval from Planning and Development staff in early January.
While the exterior has been our primary focus so far, the interior has not been finalized and we are continuing to solicit input from staff and Owners. If you would like to attend an input session, we’d love to hear your ideas as well as share with you the ongoing site development.
We will be hosing input sessions in the Willy East Community Room on Sunday, January 13th at 3:00pm (hopefully this won’t interfere with any important football games) and again on Thursday, January 17th at 6:00pm.
As always, if you cannot attend one of these meetings in person, our website is still collecting input and can be accessed at: www.willystreet.coop/willy-east-remodel-project.
Finally, in an effort to ease everyone into the reality of the remodel work, we will begin construction in late spring. Our goal is to be open for business throughout the project, although some departments may be temporarily inaccessible, but all efforts will be made to limit any inconvenience to you. Maybe this will be a good time for more people to check out the West store, if you haven’t already. As always, while we’re moving through this remodel, do not hesitate to let us know if you have concerns regarding the project.