from General Manager Anya Firszt:
In January we announced that we would be remodeling Willy East to improve functionality and give Owners a better overall shopping experience.
Owners then approved up to $2 million to be spent on the remodel of Willy East. Since that time we've found structural deficiency that requires reinforcement, identified deferred maintenance "issues" (projects), received great suggestions from Owners and staff, and added the significant expense of LEED certification, all bringing the total much higher to $4 million.
While all along our commitment was to make significant improvements to Willy East, I was starting to get concerned that we were getting caught up in the details of the plan. It was becoming clear that the remodel needed to be considered within a larger context.
So we created a task force and took their recommendations to the Board of Directors on May 7th. The Board discussed them at length and approved the following motions:
The BoD discussed that even an extensive remodel would have limitations and likely only partially decrease the strain many customers and staff at Willy East feel at lunch and dinner time, during the afternoon rush hour, on weekends and during Wellness Wednesday. The Board noted that one way to better serve Owners - both those who could more easily use a new store and those who would be able to shop more comfortably at Willy East – is to locate a third retail store close to Willy East. We have been evaluating third store options for some time, with the remodel work as the priority. This new Board directive will make the research for a new site much more of a priority.
Although the Board has capped the project at $4 million, we will need to hold an Owner vote to authorize the additional $2 million. Watch in the coming weeks for more information about the vote and what improvements we will include in the new plans.