We have been getting a lot of feedback from frustrated shoppers about seeing ZEBRADOG spaces open and unused. This past fall ZEBRADOG bought the building just east of us on Willy Street from Yahara Builders and brought with them 16 employees. Many Owners have asked us why these spaces are reserved for ZEBRADOG—what has changed is that the previous owner of the building did not need as many spaces and was able to allow us to use more of their property. To clarify, these spaces never belonged to the Co-op. They are on ZEBRADOG property and we have an easement that ensures ZEBRADOG access to them. In exchange, we have access to that front corner by their building to allow semi’s delivering to the Co-op room to back into our loading dock.
ZEBRADOG often has open stalls at night or during the weekend. Given how precious parking is at East these open spaces have created a temptation that many of our shoppers could not resist. Thus... we have also been fielding significant frustration from ZEBRADOG about arriving—or having their clients arrive—only to find their spaces occupied by our shoppers.
I am reporting ZEBRADOG has been gracious and flexible through all of this while we have been working with them. But I’m also asking everyone to respect that these spaces are not ours and to not park—even for “just a minute”—in the spaces if they are not marked for Willy Street Co-op customers. It is important to demonstrate that we can cooperatively use the space for our mutual benefit. It will be a challenge, but as it is now, we do not want to see the practice of Co-op shoppers parked in ZEBRADOG spaces to be automatically ticketed. It’s important for the Co-op to be good neighbors and we ask that everyone please help us maintain an awesome relationship with ZEBRADOG.
We have been a tad ambiguous about plastic bag recycling mainly because shoppers continue to deposit bags in the collection receptacles. Do we collect plastic for recycling or not? About a year ago, we posted a sign that said we were going to stop collecting plastic bags, but we continued to leave the receptacles near the front door. Though we said we were going to stop the practice, now that City residents can recycle plastic bags through curbside pick-up, we will continue to collect them to accommodate those who don’t have curbside pickup in their municipality.
In last month’s Reader I reported that security cameras would be installed at Willy East and they have been. As a reminder, the reason for this is we deal with multiple shoplifting instances each week and we hope that this will help to greatly reduce the number.
Willy EAst Remodel
Last month we continued our listening to department managers’ needs and wants for their individual department remodels. The architect is still reviewing that input and will submit design plans to us that will (hopefully) address everyone’s needs. We realize the scope of this project has grown dramatically and so has the budget. In light of the announcement that a new grocer will be located on East Washington Avenue, we need to be mindful of this in our planning and timeline.
We are continuing to accept input from Owners via our website. Toward the end of March, or beginning of April, we hope to have preliminary plans to share and more Owner listening sessions scheduled to discuss them.